Andhra Pradesh tribal areas hit by Maoist shutdown
The statewide shutdown called by Maoists in Andhra Pradesh on Monday to protest the recent killing of their top leader by police in an alleged fake encounter disrupted normal life in some tribal areas of the state.
The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) called for the shutdown to protest the killing of Maoist leader S Rajamouli.
Rajamouli alias Prasad, who headed the CPI-Maoist in neighbouring Karnataka, was killed by police in an alleged encounter in Anantapur district on June 22.
He was a central committee member and central military commission member of the CPI-Maoist and was the mastermind behind the assassination attempt on the then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in October 2003.
The Maoists have alleged that police arrested Rajamouli in Karnataka and killed him in a stage-managed gun battle.
The shutdown has affected normal life in tribal areas in Warangal district in Telangana, where another top Maoist leader was gunned down by police Sunday, and Visakhapatnam district bordering Orissa.
As a precautionary measure, the state owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) suspended bus services to remote areas in Maoist infested districts of Warangal, Karimnagar, Adilabad, Khammam, Mahabubnagar and Visakhapatnam.
One Maoist was arrested by police in Lanka Pakala village in GK Veedhi mandal of Visakhapatnam district on Monday when he was trying to lay a landmine. Three other Maoists escaped in forests.
Fearing Maoist violence, police forces intensified combing operations in agency areas and also in Nallamalla forests in Guntur district, where the extremists are reportedly trying to regroup.
The CPI-Maoist on Sunday lost another top leader C Papaiah alias Somanna, who was gunned down by police in Medaram forest area in Warangal district. He was the North Telangana Special Zonal Committee (NTSZC) secretariat member.
In a statement released to some newspapers Monday, NTSZC secretary Jampanna alleged that police arrested Somanna June 30 and killed him in cold blood a day later. Stating that the Congress government in the state was responsible for the killing, he called for a statewide shutdown July 7.
Meanwhile, Maoist sympathizer and revolutionary writer Varavara Rao has approached a court in Warangal seeking another autopsy of Somanna's body. He alleged that police violated human rights by killing the Maoist leader in a stage-managed gun battle.
The CPI-Maoist has lost many top leaders in the last one year. Its senior most leader in the state was also gunned down by the police last year.