Maoists on rampage in Vizag
Maoist guerrillas operating in the Orissa-Andhra border area went on the rampage in a tribal area of Visakhapatnam district, destroying a power station, TV transmission tower, guesthouse and private property.
The attacks came after a long lull. Visakhapatnam rural district Superintendent of Police Akun Sabharwal said about 30 Maoists came to Chintapalli town and blew up an electric sub-station, TV tower and a Roads and Buildings guesthouse, using locally-made gelatine sticks. Fortunately, there were no casualties as the Maoists asked the employees to come out of the premises before blowing them up.
They also attacked the house of former Congress legislator P Balaraju and set his furniture and other belongings on fire. They attempted to blast the Chintapalli police station too but had to beat a hasty retreat when the policemen present opened fire.
After the attack, the power supply to several villages was disrupted. Similarly, Doordarshan went off the air in the area following damage to the relay transmission tower. Two blocks of the guesthouse were damaged.
According to eyewitnesses, before fleeing, the Maoists raised slogans claiming the attacks were in retaliation to the killing of two top Maoist leaders, Sande Rajamouli and Chettiraju Papaiah, in Anantapur and Warangal districts recently.
They hung banners in several places opposing bauxite mining in the area and the alumina smelter being put up by the Jindals and another company, which they said would displace the tribals in the area.
They also warned ruling Congress leaders of a fate similar to that of Visakhapatnam zilla parishad vice-chairman S Ravi Shankar, who was shot dead on May 28 for supporting the mining and alumina projects.