Visakhapatnam: Recent exchanges of fires (EOFs) between security forces and Maoists in GK Veedhi Mandal in Vizag Agency proved that senior Maoist members have been camping in Vizag Agency and along the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB).
Sources in police and intelligence department said that senior Maoist leaders Chalapathi alias Appa Rao, his wife Aruna, and Jagan entered AOB in a phased manner. Along with other senior members, they aim to recruit youngsters in a bid to strengthen the party, which has been receiving severe jolts for the past few years.
In the first batch, 30 members entered the AOB area and the remaining in the second batch. Highly trained armed squads from Chhattisgarh formed three layers of security to fight the top Maoist guns in the region.
Security forces, including the elite Greyhounds (anti-Naxal forces of Andhra Pradesh), gunned down five Maoists, including two women in two EOFs near Madigamallu area under GK Veedhi Mandal on Sunday and Monday.
Vizag Rural Police Chief Babujee Attada said that in the first EOF on Sunday, combing parties gunned down Budhiri, Bimala and Ajay and on the next day they killed Ramesh and Bhuma. Incidentally, all five belonged to Chhattisgarh and hence it took more hours to identify the deceased red-rebels, Babujee added.
Sources said Ramesh and Bhuma were experts in laying mines and they were assigned the task of attacking the combing police forces. The police identified the mines and stopped combing operations from the encounter point.
However, human rights organisations believe that the police had rounded several activists and eliminated them in batches after brutal interrogation. The activists also said that Chalapathi, Aruna and Jagan might have escaped to safety following the encounter.
Meanwhile, police forces continue their search for the injured Maoists, who they think might be taking shelters in tribal homes getting first aid from village doctors.