ANDHRA PRADESH

Tumultuous reception to PW top guns

KURNOOL, OCT. 11. Top leaders of the People's War who emerged from the forest on Monday got a taste of the public's obsession with underground naxal leaders. Only a few members of the print and electronic media were witness to their first public appearance near China Arutla.

At first glance, China Arutla appeared to be a secluded place. But, all arrangements were in place. Vehicles to transport the leaders and others had been parked behind the bushes a day before. After the leaders emerged, the vehicles were brought to the road and decorated with party flags. Not a policeman was in sight.

Surging crowd

After the leaders got into the vehicles and the convoy began moving, the PW sympathisers stopped the convoy at Chintala, Tummalabayalu and on the outskirts of Dornala, holding party flags and banners. The crowd jostled to have a glimpse of the leaders.

When the convoy reached Dornala, the public almost detained the convoy. A contingent of policemen, led by officers of DSP rank, was waiting for the leaders there.

To `safety net'

At this stage, balladeer Gadar stood atop the vehicle and announced that the leaders were being transferred into the "safety net" of the police. He also told the police that Mr. Sankar would be in charge of People's Guerrilla Army security guards. Though Mr. Gadar pleaded with folded hands with the public to make way for the leaders, they remained adamant and demanded that the leaders appear before them. Ramakrishna of the People' s War and some of his colleagues came out and sat on top of the vehicle and waved to the crowd.

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