Ending 18 months of silence, the Maoists have served an ultimatum to the K. Chandrasekhar Rao-led TRS government in Telangana to at once stop the combing operations in their strongholds. The Maoists have sent a letter addressed to the CM through six TRS local leaders abducted and released in the dense forests of Khammam district on Saturday. In the letter, the Maoists threatened to kill important leaders of the ruling party and police unless the government declared that there won’t be any “fake” encounters. The Maoists, in the letter signed by a local area secretary Haribhushan, demanded action against the cops responsible for the 16 September encounter in Warangal which claimed the lives of two of their comrades.
The Maoists blamed the KCR government for cooperating with the Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh in conducting combing operations for the extremists. The six TRS leaders — Nune Ramakrishna, Patel Venkateswarlu, N. Suresh, V. Ramakrishna, Satyanarayana and Janardhan — set free after three days’ captivity at a remote hamlet on Chhattisgarh–Telangana border Saturday morning. They walked close to 8 km and reached Charla mandal headquarters this afternoon.“The Maoists looked after us well and released unharmed. Their intention seems to serve a warning to the state government which is resorting to fake encounters of late. They told us that unless the police changes ways there will be more killings and kidnappings,” said Nune Ramakrishna from Charla on phone Saturday evening.
The safe return of the abducted TRS leaders has brought curtains on the three-day tension in Telangana. A force of around 400 cops was kept ready to comb the Khammam forest in case the abducted were not released by Saturday.
At the same time, the top brass in the police are agitated over the return of abductions by Maoists after a gap of two decades in the state. The combined AP witnessed a spate of kidnappings of ruling party leaders by the extremists in early 1990s. Apart from a couple of killings, most of the kidnappings ended peacefully after weeks of negotiations.
The Khammam kidnaping of TRS leaders is a wake-up call for the KCR government which came to power promising to implement the Maoists’ agenda during the 2014 elections.