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Maoists go on rampage in Andhra Pradesh


Hyderabad : Maoists went on a rampage in Andhra Pradesh's Visakhapatnam district late Wednesday night, bombing three government buildings and disrupting electricity supply to dozens of villages.

About 300 Maoists launched the attacks around midnight Wednesday in the tribal area of Chintapally in Visakhapatnam district, bordering Orissa, about 600 km from here.

The extremists belonging to the outlawed Communist Party of India – Maoist (CPI-Maoist) bombed the guesthouse of the Roads and Buildings Department, a Doordarshan relay centre and an electricity substation, disrupting electricity supply to dozens of villages in the region. The militants also planted two mines under electricity transformers but could not trigger them.

Police said the Maoists also ransacked the house of former legislator Balraju. They set the furniture and other goods afire after throwing them outside the house but did not harm the residents.

The Maoists also tried to attack Chintapally police station but fled after police opened fire. The guerrillas also set afire a large number of tyres at a bus complex.

The extremists put up red flags, banners and posters all over the area. Leaflets left by them said this was their way of protesting against the killing of their top leaders S. Rajamouli and C. Papaiah by the police in allegedly stage-managed gun battles.

The Maoists also said they were against the aluminium factories proposed to be set up by the Jindal Group and Ras Al-Khaima in north Andhra. One banner read: "Tribals have the right over forests." The militants also warned of more attacks.

The region is already witnessing protest against the proposed factories and bauxite mining to be taken up for the units. The tribals fear that factories may deprive them of their livelihood and water resources.

The police have tightened security in the region following the Maoist attacks. They launched combing operations in the region while the state-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) suspended bus services to tribal and remote areas.

Police forces in the Andhra-Orissa region and on the Chhattisgarh border have already been on alert after Maoists killed 24 security personnel in Chhattisgarh Monday.

After losing 200 cadres including several top leaders during the last two years, the Maoists are trying to regroup in the Andhra-Orissa border area and the Nallamalla forests.

Admitting some setbacks, a top CPI-Maoist leader had, in a statement Tuesday, warned of revenge attacks on politicians and policemen.

The Maoist violence in the state has claimed more than 6,000 lives since 1969, when the guerrilla movement was first launched in Srikakulam district, bordering Orissa.