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Naxal threat scares sarpanches

ONGOLE: Peace in the mandals adjoining Nallamala is under threat what with Naxalites making threatening calls to the village sarpanches.

The immediate provocation seems to be the CPI-Maoist Naxalites' suspicion that one of their key pointsman Yarraiah is in police captivity.

Yarraiah is considered an important operator in Tripurantakam, Pullalacheruvu and Yarragondapalem mandals abutting the Nallamala forests.

These mandals have always been problem zones as they are hotbeds of Naxalite activity.

For the past two months, the Naxals have been calling sarpanches over landlines and mobiles asking them to mediate with the police to secure 'freedom' for their key activist.

A sarpanch in Yarragondapalem confirmed on condition of anonymity that he had received a call from the Naxals.

The Naxals have reportedly threatened the sarpanches of dire consequences if they did not mediate.

However, Markapuram OSD ARN Ammi Reddy strongly denied the allegations that Yarraiah was in their custody. He said no Maoist is in their custody.

Meanwhile, most of the sarpanches in these three mandals have moved to safe zones like Ongole town as a precautionary measure. Some sarpanches have shifted to Markapuram town, which is close to their villages and easy to operate from.

A sarpanch from Madhurantakam mandal, who too had received a warning call from the Maoists, is taking shelter in his friend's house in Ongole town.

It may be recalled that the Maoists have killed a couple of sarpanches and a few villagelevel Congress leaders alleging them to be police informers.

The kin of a local MLA was also killed by the Maoists in the recent past.

Newindpress.com

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posted by Resistance 5/21/2007 11:57:00 AM,

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