ANDHRA PRADESH

Plans of the Maoists go awry

After the raid:The RTC bus, which was burnt by Maoists to prevent the police from reaching the Mannanur armed police outpost along Hyderabad - Srisailam highway, which was attacked on Friday night. (Right) RDX and bottle bombs used in the attack. Ph otos: Satish H.

After the raid:The RTC bus, which was burnt by Maoists to prevent the police from reaching the Mannanur armed police outpost along Hyderabad - Srisailam highway, which was attacked on Friday night. (Right) RDX and bottle bombs used in the attack. Ph otos: Satish H.  

MANNANUR (MAHABUBNAGAR DT.): The simultaneous attack on the heavily guarded armed police outpost (AOP) here and the Amrabad police station, 10 km away, by over a hundred

Maoists on Friday night was significant for its clockwork precision but apparently their game plan did not work.

The police not only repulsed the attack strongly without losing their men but are even believed to have inflicted a casualty on the Maoists.

Plans of the Maoists go awry

A naxalite was suspected to have been killed in the exchange of fire as he braved to come out of the hiding to lob a bomb. A lot of blood was found at the spot.

The naxalites opened fire on the AOP and the police station at one go around 9.15 p.m. after blasting a culvert, two km from the station. The explosion was supposed to signal the launch of the attack. While the AOP straddles the Hyderabad-Srisailam highway, the police station is located on the road heading to Amrabad.

The naxalites triggered another explosion on the ghat section of the highway a few kilometres from the AOP half-an-hour later. This was aimed at stopping an RTC bus by scaring the crew and the passengers. The bus was parked across the road and burnt completely.

Traffic hit

The burning of the bus and the first explosion were believed to have been carried out to prevent police reinforcements rushing to the AOP, the principal target of the Maoists. Traffic on the busy highway was blocked till Saturday morning as the bus obstructed the movement.

The naxalites lobbed nearly 30 grenades and crude bombs into the AOP, the entry of which was closed, and opened fire from different directions. They occupied a building under construction to house the tassar seed station of the Sericulture Department and a Primary Health Centre adjoining the AOP.

The naxalites made several attempts to force their way into the AOP through the gate and tried to blow up the compound wall but did not succeed. They exchanged fire with the personnel at the AOP and the police station for two hours before retreating. Hundreds of rounds were fired from both sides.

Caught in crossfire

A poclain was caught in the crossfire at the police station but the driver escaped miraculously. The confusion of the personnel at the station compounded with the arrival of a crowd from a cinema hall where the movie was wound up abruptly. The crowd was detained at the station till the morning.

The Home Minister, K. Jana Reddy, who visited the AOP and the police station, announced rewards to the policemen for the brave act. He was accompanied by the DGP, Swaranjit Sen.

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