Police hunt for top Maoist near Andhra-Orissa border


Hyderabad : A day after arresting his wife Padma, police launched a massive hunt for top Maoist leader Ramakrishna alias RK in a forested area on the Andhra Pradesh-Orissa border, officials said Monday.

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A joint team of police personnel from the two states began combing the forested area to hunt for Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) Central Committee member Ramakrishna.

According to police sources, special teams, including the elite anti-Maoist Greyhound personnel from Andhra Pradesh, have encircled the forest area in Koraput district in south Orissa.

The combing operations were launched in the area after police gathered vital information from Padma and two other women cadres about RK’s whereabouts.

RK, who is also general secretary of the Andhra-Orissa border special zonal committee, is reportedly suffering from viral fever. Police arrested his wife and two other women when they were on their way to meet him in the forest.

The arrest of Padma, alias Sirsia alias Nirmala, has come as a big blow to the Maoists. Hailing from Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh 40-year-old Padma carried a reward of Rs.200,000 on her head. Two other Maoists arrested with her have been identified as R. Maningi alias Sarita and E. Anduluru. Police also arrested the driver of the jeep in which the they were travelling.

Sources said police seized several maps and literature from the Maoists. The development is expected to help the police in countering the Maoists who were strengthening themselves along the Andhra Pradesh-Orissa border.

RK, who had led the Maoists in the first-ever direct talks with the government in 2004, had evaded the police dragnet many a time in the past.

Maoists have called for a shutdown in the Andhra Pradesh-Orissa border area to protest the arrest of Padma and others.