An uneasy calm is prevailing in villages situated near the Godavari abutting Chhattisgarh State after the Maoists conducted a Kangaroo court and thrashed villagers of Mukunur in Manthani revenue division of the district on Saturday night.
Though the police maintained that very few among the Maoists spoke Telugu indicating that most of them were from the neighbouring State of Chhattisgarh, the very arrival of 30 armed members of the banned Maoist group is sending shivers down the spines of people.
The Maoists thrashed five persons of the village and warned them to leave the village or face the consequences, a Maoist tactic that North Telangana witnessed some three decades ago.
The sudden surfacing of the Maoist squad and conduct of the Kangaroo court after a gap of more than 15 years in the district had come as a rude shock to the district police. The naxalite team is believed to have been led by KKW (Karimnagar, Khammam and Warangal) secretary Bade Chokka Rao alias Damodar and Eturunagaram and Mahadevpur area committee secretary Kankanala Raji Reddy alias Venkatesh.
Sources said that the Maoists split themselves into four groups and stood guard at different locations even as another team conducted the ‘Praja court’ in the village centre. The naxalites arrived at the village around 10 p.m. on Saturday and left the village after 3 a.m. on Sunday. The naxalites brought all the targeted upper caste villagers Odela Srinivas Rao, Eravelli Srinivas Rao, Duggirala Srinivas Rao, Erravelli Vasantha Rao and Bhupathi Devender and thrashed them severely accusing them of passing on information to the police. They were also accused of taking an anti-dalit stand in the village.
They warned them to leave the village or face serious consequences. They also interacted with the villagers. Later, the Maoists crossed the river Godavari and entered into the neighbouring Chatisgarh sensing possible police operations in the region. A dispute during the Dasara festivities between the dalits and upper caste people had forced the Maoists to enter the village and conduct the ‘Praja Court.’Combing stepped up
Sources said that the Maoists had been moving in the region for the last few months. They had planned to commit an offence during the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) week celebrations during the first week of December. But, they are now focussing on the recruitment of rural youth into their fold, the intelligence sources said.
Superintendent of Police V. Shiva Kumar said that all the naxalites belonged to Chhattisgarh and only few people were speaking Telugu. They had conducted the ‘Praja Court’ only to make their presence felt and targeting innocent people by branding them informers. The SP said they had intensified combing operations.