Bengaluru, Oct 25: The killing of 24 Maoists in the Malkangiri forests on the Andhra-Odisha border is a clear signal that the outlawed group is trying to revive itself. This time around the issue that is being raised by them is the license given to Bauxite mining.
The naxalites are trying to capitalise on the resentment raised by the tribals against the grant of this license and also the construction of the Polavaram multi-purpose irrigation project which would submerge one lakh acres of land.
There is a lot of resentment among the tribal in these parts of the state. The naxalites are supporting the tribals and in bargain are trying to revive themselves. Over the years the naxalites were finding it hard to operate in these areas due to lack of local support. However, security agencies are closely watching the developments in the areas and are identifying those who provide support to the naxalites.
Desperate attempt to revive
After the breakdown of talks with the government in 2004, there was a major crackdown on them led by the Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh. The naxals suffered heavy casualties which prompted several of their top leaders to shift base to Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
However, most of the top leaders who are from Andhra and Telangana want to return to their home land. They are keen on reviving their base in what they call as Telugu land.
Over the past three years several attempts were being made by the naxals to revive their base. There have been instances of naxalites also trying to set up their base in other parts of South India as well.
When the tribals raised issues such as the grant of bauxite license and the Polavaram irrigation project, the naxalites found this to be an opportunity. They started sending in their cadres to talk with the tribals and also assured them of support. In bargain, they were attempting to establish a base with the help of local support.
In the past three years there has been a lot of activity among the naxals. Their operations have been particularly strong in the areas of Vishakapatanam and Vizianagaram.
Several incidents of abductions have been reported. It may be recalled that the naxalites had also abducted an IAS office Vineel Krishna apart from killing police personnel as well.