Visakhapatnam: Maoist recruitments have taken a hit due to the relentless pressure and public outreach programme launched by the security forces on Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border in 2020.

Vizag rural superintendent of police B Krishna Rao said outreach programmes being launched by the police and with the close cooperation of Odisha police have helped in curbing violent activities in 2020.

He said Maoists were involved in two blasts and three exchanges of fire (EOF) in which four persons were killed in 2020. Last year the red-rebels killed five persons in five EOFs.

Vizag Rural police arrested seven extremists and 15 militia members in 2020 besides bound over 43 persons. A total of 14 militia members surrendered before the police in 2020.

Krishna Rao said the cooperation with Odisha has increased during the last two years which enabled the law enforcing agencies to limit the activities of the outlawed Maoists. Now the decision making and recruitment of cadre have been limited to their strongholds in Chattisgarh and Odisha, he said.

``The recruitment of cadre has stopped in Andhra Pradesh years ago and the Maoists have failed to lure the youth. There is now increased awareness among the tribals. Youngsters are more interested in their careers and the development of their villages with the help of technology,'' he said.

The rural SP noted that response to the outreach programmes was overwhelming. "Hundreds of people are turning out at the medical camps and sports activities being conducted by the police," he said.

Regarding smuggling of ganja and involvement of inter-state gangs, the SP said after Vizag-Kirondol passenger train was withdrawn, many smugglers are taking the highway route to smuggle the drugs.

"Police were successful in apprehending them. He said check posts have been set up at strategic places and the police network has been increased in the recent months to keep a tab on the smugglers," he said.

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