Naxals active in Ghats; operations intensified

A file photo of naxals at a village in Chikmagalur.

This follows the announcement of Home Minister R Ashoka that he would visit the naxal-hit areas soon and the Centre preparing to declare the Kudremukh National Park as a tiger reserve.

The ANF has definite information that the 20-member naxal gang which had visited a few villages of Sringeri taluk two weeks ago, was at Mallandur in Agumbe limits of Shimoga district a week ago. It is in this light that ANF has intensified patrolling in the last couple of days.

ANF sources told Deccan Herald that they had received instructions to maintain strict vigil on the border of Chikmagalur district with Shimoga district. There is also information that the ultras had visited Chatnamane, Sirimane and Hulase villages of Sringeri taluk on May 27.

ANF personnel deployed in the naxal-affected areas of Chikmagalur district like Jayapura, Kigga, Kerekatte and Devalaya Koppa have intensified their operations in the past two weeks. But what has caused a setback to the ANF is that some of its personnel have been transferred elsewhere and the new personnel are finding it difficult to source information about the ultras from the locals. The delay in gathering information about the visit of the naxals to the villages in the district has been attributed to the changes in the ANF.

The naxals had also reportedly visited a few houses in the Marakal Gram Panchayat limits of Sringeri two months ago. They had taken Rs 20,000 each from a few rich people, it is said. Fearing the repercussions from the ultras, they had not made the issue public, said a resident of a village in the Kudremukh National Park limits.

Police sources have confirmed reports about the naxals visiting Marakal and Kere Gram Panchayat limits on the same day. However, Superintendent of Police, Vikas Kumar Vikas said he did not have definite information about the naxals’ visit.

Hosagadde Prabha, who was believed to be dead, Muje Khan, Kanyakumari and B G Krishnamurthy, who was ill, are now said to be back in operation and organising their cadre in the Western Ghats. A doctor from Andhra Pradesh is with them to treat them, it is said.

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