Red alert in border districts after arrest of senior Maoists
Fearing retaliation from the Maoists, a red alert has been sounded in border districts of Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Gondia and Bhandara of Maharashtra after the arrest of hardcore Naxalite leaders, Murali and Arun Pereira in Nagpur on May 8.
Elected representatives, particularly MLAs, in the sensitive areas have been advised to take additional precautions against possible retaliation by the Naxalites and not to move out of their headquarters.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Pankaj Gupta, inspector general of police (anti-Naxal cell) informed that an extra care was taken for peoples' representatives and social workers in view of the incident. The Maharashtra Minister of State for Transport and Social Justice Dharmababa Atram, who is from Gadchiroli district, was provided Z category security while his cousin and former legislator, Satyabhan Atram was given X category security. Besides, the ministers and legislators were asked not to disclose the details of their tours but keep the police informed about their movements. Similarly, VIPs were asked not to stay in villages during nights. Advance information to the police would enable them check all culverts and arrange security cover in the rural areas, Gupta further informed.
Naxalites had abducted Dharmaraobaba Atam in 1992 and later released him on pro-quid-quo basis when the state freed senior Maoist leader Shivanna from Chandrapur jail. The Maoists kidnapped Atram near Etapalli when he was returning after attending a marriage ceremony at night.
Shivanna later became the chief of Gadchiroli division of CPI (Maoist) and was killed in an encounter by the Chhattisgarh police a couple of months ago. It was alleged that Maharashtra police picked him up from a jungle and handed over to Chhattisgarh police who allegedly killed him in a fake encounter.