A large number of security forces deployed to thwart Maoists’ poll boycott call. It is believed that the security forces have entrenched themselves in almost all the strategic hillocks in the Agency area.

The Visakhapatnam district police have deployed a large number of security forces for combing operation in the Agency areas with the aim of obtaining total area domination. This is being done to thwart the boycott call given by the Maoists for the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls scheduled for May 7.

Talking to The Hindu, Superintendent of Police Vikram Jeet Duggal said about 5,000 security forces drawn from various wings such as AP Special Police, Greyhounds, local police, CRPF and BSF have already been deployed in the entire district. “In the Agency area itself we have the presence of about 3,000 personnel and we are expecting another 20 companies of Central Armed Police Forces,” he said.

According to him, the policy of total area domination will reduce the fear factor among the tribals and they will be in a position to defy the boycott call. “The strategy had been successful during the recent MPTC and ZPTC elections, as the voter turnout was at about 72 per cent,” said Mr. Duggal. It is believed that the security forces have entrenched themselves in almost all the strategic hillocks in the Agency area.

“Technically, we are on the upper hand, as the foliage is pretty low during this part of the year. The visibility is much clear and it would be easier for our men to spot any movement from the elevated positions. It would have been a difficult proposition after the monsoon, when the greenery would be thicker,” said the SP.

Clean chit

Identifying key areas, he said certain mandals such as Koyyuru, G.K. Veedhi, Chintapalli, Annavaram, G Madugula, Pedabayalu and Munchingput were hyper sensitive areas.

Giving a clean chit to almost all the sensitive mandals, he was candid to admit that Maoists were still present in some pockets in the two mandals of Pedabayalu and Munchingput. “We hope to overcome even that shortly,” he said.

The SP said the Sadbhavana Sadassu organised by the police played an effective role in reducing the Maoist influence. “This apart, in the last three months we have about 75 surrenders or arrests of Maoists or militia members. Of them six were Dalam members and three were area committee members. We also seized 447 gelatine sticks with bundles of wires and about 60 kg of ammonia sulphate, which is the main ingredient for improvised explosive devices,” said Mr. Duggal.

Another senior officer said East Visakha Division, which controls the operation on the Andhra side is on the wane, as the support from Odisha has dwindled with the exit of Sabyasachi Panda from the Koraput-Malkangiri division.

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