No Maoist presence in Nallamala: DGP

Families of the Maoist victims take out a rally in Ongole on Sunday. —Photo: Kommuri Srinivas

Families of the Maoist victims take out a rally in Ongole on Sunday. —Photo: Kommuri Srinivas  

Nallamala, once considered a safe heaven, is no longer so. The days when the extremists had a free run were now over, said Director-General of Police N. Sambasiva Rao at a media conference here.

“There is no Maoist presence in the region. The picturesque Nallamala hills can very well be developed into a tourist spot,” he said. It was from Nallamala, the largest stretch of undisturbed forest, top Maoist leaders including Akkiraju Haragopal alias Ramakrishna, popularly known as RK, came out for talks with the then YSR government in 2004.

Justifying the combing operations along with Odisha in the Andhra Odisha Border (AOB), he said only when peace prevailed in the State’s neighbourhood, development would be possible in the State. They had even misled the High Court by first filing a habeas corpus petition and then withdrawing it, he said, adding “We are used to such tactics.”

“Vizag’s safety is linked to that of our neighbour [Odisha]. We have made a lot of sacrifices to ensure a congenial climate for development in the State,” he said referring to the long history of the Naxalite–Maoist insurgency in the united Andhra Pradesh.

Empathising with the victims of Maoist violence in the AOB region, he said the Maoists, to show that they were still active, eliminated this year at least 10 innocent persons by branding them as informers.

Meanwhile, hundreds of victims of Maoist violence took out a rally in the city .

“Don’t we have any human rights,” asked a sobbing Sridevi, widow of policeman Anjaneyulu killed by the Maoists along with 31 others at Balimela when they were returning after a combing operation in a cut-off area of Malkangiri in Odisha on June 29, 2008.

“Will civil rights organisations take up only the cause of the Maoists,” asked the woman holding the hands of her 11-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter.

Kasi Rao, whose family was also victim of the Maoist violence, said the extremists had killed four of their family members when they were active in the Nallamala hills. Fearing for his life, he had run away from his native Ardhaveedu village to escape the wrath of the extremists, he added.

Family members of then Assistant Sub-Inspector G.V. Ratnam who made a valiant bid to save then Congress MP Magunta Subbirami Reddy who was killed by the extremists, poured out their woes.

“My father Venkateswarulu was branded as an informer and killed by the extremists in 2005,” his son Srinivasa Rao recalled with grief.

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