Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Maoist silence deafens Andhra

Maoist silence deafens Andhra

HYDERABAD, Aug. 6: The Andhra Pradesh police is unable to understand the absolute silence from the Maoists for the past two weeks, ever since AP state secretary Madhav was killed in an encounter in Nallamalla forests in Prakasham district.

Every attack against the Maoists invariably caused a retaliatory action comprising burning of state owned buses, blasting telephone exchanges, blasting government buildings, landmine attacks on police, targeting of individual policemen, among others. This has been a pattern in past 30 years. "This time not even a windshield has been broken. Their silence despite suffering a major loss is something we are not able to comprehend," a top police officer involved in anti-Naxalite operations told The Statesman.

Top police brass are vertically divided over the reasons for this silence. One reason cited is the Maoists have lost some cadres and are deprived of self confidence to carry out attacks, which could leave the state on the defensive. Another reason could be that the Maoists' silence and absence of action is part of their retaliatory strategy.

"We don't believe that their cadre is debilitated to the extent that they can't even launch a retaliatory attack. Without doubt, they have committed and diehard cadres that can set up a sensational action. They are bound to strike back and we fear that it would be sensational," told a senior Intelligence officer.

They said the attack might not be as big as the one at Alipiri near Tirupati where former chief minister Mr N Chandrababu Naidu was targeted in September 2003. The security of his successor Dr YS Rajashekar Reddy and his Cabinet colleagues and Congress legislators has been beefed up and put on high alert since 23 July.
Senior anti-Naxalite officers have reached a consensus that they should expect a major action in the city. "It is easier for their action team to attempt something in Hyderabad than anywhere else because of density. Further, an action here would take the headlines by force, which is always their aim."

They, however, ruled out reports as rumours of top Naxalite Takkalapalli Vasudeva Rao alias Ashanna being spotted here. They dismissed reports as imaginary that the Maoists had conducted a recee of the state secretariat.


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