Visakhapatnam: Top leaders of the banned CPI (Maoists) escaped during an exchange of fire between the security forces and Maoists near Landalu village under Pedabayalu police station limits in Vizag Agency on 23 July.
A senior police officer said the central committee leader and military chief of Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZ ), Chalapathi, and top Maoist leader Aruna, along with 25 other members, were in the forests of Pedabayalu. They were reportedly conducting meetings with tribals of the area in connection with the martyr’s week that the extremist group is planning in the coming days.
The police said at least three to five Maoists may have been injured in the exchange of fire. "The Maoists may have taken the injured along with them. We will find out the casualties in another three to four days," a police officer said. A police constable was also injured in a landmine blast close to the Landalu area. The Maoists triggered the landmine near the place where the exchange of fire took place.
Meanwhile, tension prevailed in the tribal pockets under Munchingput and Pedabayalu mandals and along Andhra Odisha border following the exchange of fire. Barricades have been put up at important points and the armed police are conducting random checks.
Suspecting the presence of top Maoist leaders in the area, the police have intensified combing operations in Vizag Agency to flush out the rebels.