The attack was reportedly led by leaders of Galikonda area committee; coffee berries spread for drying and a tractor were set afire.

Twenty armed cadres of the CPI (Maoist) accompanied by 50 militia members blasted two coffee pulping units and a godown of the AP Forest Development Corporation’s coffee pulping yard at Chapagedda in GK Veedhi mandal late on Tuesday night. Coffee berries spread over the drying yards and a tractor were set on fire.

A letter addressed to the Regional Manager and Divisional Manager of APFDC and left behind by the east division committee of the Maoist party said that the attack was in protest against the killing of party members in encounters, which it said were fake; against Operation Green Hunt and to demand the government to stop establishing new police stations and police outposts in Visakha Agency. They were meant to suppress the Girijans who were fighting for their rights over coffee plantations and against the proposed mining of bauxite. The party demanded APFDC to leave Visakha Agency. It also gave call for a bandh in the east division on Thursday with the above demands.

The attack was reportedly led by Azad and Kavita, leaders of the Galikonda area committee of the Maoist party, and Ravi, said to be the official spokesman of the Andhra Orissa border special zone of the party. The machinery and buildings were allegedly blasted using mines. APFDC estimated the loss around Rs. 30 lakh.

The Maoists were said to have held a meeting after blasting the pulping units.

Violence condemned

Superintendent of Police, while condemning the incident in a press release, said that 200 Girijan families that are dependent on the plant directly and another 100 families benefiting indirectly, were now denied their livelihood. Maoists resorted to violence unable to stomach the fact that the Sadbhavana Yatras of the police received good response and the Girijans sought police help in getting roads and other facilities. At Saagulu and Galikonda local people refused to listen to the Maoists, he added.

More In: Visakhapatnam