Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police R.R. Girish Kumar came under fire from leaders of Telangana for speaking his mind on the Maoist threat in the event of formation of a smaller state (Telangana).

Leaders of the ruling Congress, principal opposition Telugu Desam and separatist Telangana Rashtra Samiti have strongly denounced the DGP’s remarks, reportedly made in New Delhi on Tuesday, and said they were unwarranted.

Mr. Girish Kumar, who was in New Delhi to attend a conference of DGPs on the Maoist issue on Tuesday, reportedly remarked that creation of smaller states could help the spread of outlaws and pointed to the recent spurt in naxal activities in Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee chief D. Srinivas said such remarks were provocative in the prevailing circumstances. “I don’t agree with his views, that creation of smaller states will lead to a spurt in Maoists activities,” Mr. Srinivas said.

TDP senior leader and former Union Minister S Venugopalachari demanded that the DGP withdraw his remarks immediately. “It is unbecoming of a bureaucrat holding such a high office to speak like a political leader. I strongly condemn the DG’s claim,” Mr. Venugopalachari said in the Secretariat here on Wednesday.

TRS leader E. Rajender also came down on Girish Kumar for “hurting the sentiments” of people of Telangana through his remarks.

Meanwhile, the DGP issued a clarification Wednesday evening, saying his views “as expressed to a specific query” should not be misconstrued as indicative of “my stand as DGP” on the ongoing agitation that was being witnessed in different regions of the state. “As I made it abundantly clear in the past, the police force is apolitical in its views on any agitation. I affirm that the state police force would discharge its duties with due regard to the concern of people of the state, strictly in conformity with the provisions of Constitution and rule of law,” Mr. Girish Kumar said.