Police headquarters approached with request to revive security cover for naxal targets
Following decline in naxalite violence, State Government decides to withdraw security coverGunmen being instructed to report to their respective offices and do other assigned duties
KARIMNAGAR: The State Government's decision to withdraw gunmen from all the naxalite targets in general and Karimnagar district in particular has become a cause of concern for the safety of targets moving in rural areas after the encounter killing of Maoists' State secretary Madhav and seven others.
Following decline in naxalite violence in the State, the Government had decided to withdraw the gunmen for all targets. Though the decision was taken in the first quarter of this year, the Government has decided to extend security cover to all the targets till completion of all local bodies elections.
Now that local bodies elections were conducted peacefully without any untoward incident by the naxalites, the Government has been withdrawing security for all the naxalite targets, including local politicians, representatives to nominated posts and others. The gunmen are being instructed to report to their respective offices and do their other assigned duties. But, the naxalite targets are worried about the sudden withdrawal of gunmen. All the targets have been approaching the district police headquarters and the authorities concerned for revival of security cover, but in vain.
An agricultural market committee chairman of an interior mandal says, "The withdrawal of gunmen would restrict our movement in villages. All these years, we had moved freely with the help of gunmen. But now we are forced to remain indoors and would be restricting our visits to the market yards also."
Says another target of an interior naxalite-affected village of Manthani region: "The Government might have taken a decision to withdraw security cover because of misuse by some politicians and others in some parts of the State. But, we the people of Karimnagar district, cannot move in villages without security. Though there are no instances of gunmen protecting the life of targets, their presence will boost our morale and we can move very confidently in the villages."
A senior police official said that the removal of security cover for all the naxalite targets abruptly after the encounter of Madhav and seven others was untimely. "The withdrawal of police security will reduce the mobility of targets. However, we are taking all measures for protection of targets with the police counter action team (CAT) personnel, alerting them through target message alert service, with the help of cellular phone and also taking other security measures of shifting targets to safer places during the nights," he added.