Andhra Pradesh

First day of Maoist Martyrs’ Week passes off peacefully

A ‘peace stupa’ erected by tribal people in a Maoist-affected village in Visakha Agency.  

The first day of the Maoist Martyrs’ Week passed with no untoward incident being reported from the mandals in Visakha Agency affected by the Left Wing Extremism (LWE).

The Maoists have been observing the martyrs’ week ever since Charu Majumdar, founder of the Naxal movement in the country, died in police custody in West Bengal on July 28, 1972. The week is observed between July 28 and August 3. The Maoists organise mass public meetings. However, many incidents of violence such as targetting vital installations, blasting landmines, attacks on security forces and killing tribals after labelling them as informers have also been reported during the period.

In 2019, a few days before the martyrs’ week, the Maoists killed Pangi Sattibabu and Gemmili Bhaskara Rao at Veeravaram village, Chintapalli mandal, after labelling them as police informers. However, the event has been a low key affair since 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the advances made by the security forces in strategic strongholds of the left-wing extremists.

Senior police officers who engaged in anti-Maoist operations said the Maoists may not resort to violence or even hold meetings this time as they are on the run.

After the Teegalametta encounter in Koyyuru Mandal in June and the recent one reported from G.K. Veedhi, it is learnt that the Maoists, barely around 20 in number, are trying to find a safe haven.

Meanwhile, the police, keeping in view the martyrs’ week, have intensified combing operations in the interior pockets of the Agency. “We have stepped up surveillance, enhanced the security cover for all high-value targets and vital installations. Road Opening Parties and bomb squads have been deployed. The strength of the force has been increased in sensitive areas,” said Superintendent of Police B. Krishna Rao.

Rallying behind peace

Meanwhile, taking a cue from the Maoists, the tribals have erected makeshift peace stupas in villages such as Bongaram in Pedabayalu mandal and Kumada in Munchingput mandal.

Unlike the Maoist stupas that are red in colour, the ones erected by tribals are painted in green and white, signifying peaceful living and an end to killings of tribal people. They even inscribed the names of the tribals killed in the recent past by the Maoists on the stupas.


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Printable version | Sep 29, 2021 5:03:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/first-day-of-maoist-martyrs-week-passes-off-peacefully/article35597087.ece

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