ANF begins combing operations over suspected Maoists' presence

ANF begins combing operations over suspected Maoists' presence

Following the visit of suspected Maoists to three houses in Mithamajalu at Shiradi, ANF personnel commenced combing operations in Shiradi and Shishila reserve forests on Tuesday.

A total of 26 personnel led by Hebri ANF Inspector Thimmappa Naik and Hebri Kigga ANF team led by SI Amaresh carried out the combing operations.

The ANF team will continue the combing operations for another three days. In fact, DySP Srinivas, Puttur Rural Circle Inspector Gopal Naik, Uppinangady Sub Inspector Nandakumar and other police personnel were camping in Mithamajalu since morning.

When ANF members showed the photographs of a few Maoists to the inmates of the house, they (residents) said that the Maoists have identified themselves as "Rajesh" and "Latha".

Mithamajalu, situated two-kilometres away from National Highway has 40 houses, of which three houses are situated on the periphery of the forest. The Maoist members had visited the houses on Sunday night. However, it was kept a secret till Monday evening. It was through schoolchildren that the news was spread among the villagers.

Puttur DySP Srinivas said that the visit of Maoists to the houses has been confirmed. Two teams of ANF have started combing operations.

'Did not threaten'

One of the residents of the house that the Maoists visited said, "The members just informed that they were Maoists and asked us not to inform anyone. They did not threaten us."

A team with two men and a woman entered the house at 7.30 pm on Sunday. After introducing themselves as Purushotham, Rajesh and Latha, they asked for groceries. "When I informed that there is no rice and asked them whether they needed dosa and tea, they replied in the negative."   They also wanted to know whether there is any rich person's house in the village, the resident said.

When my brother visited the house, they accompanied him to his house. They were in my house for 10 minutes only. All were wearing green trousers and shirt and were armed, the resident said.

Her brother said, "Maoist Rajesh asked for 10 kg of rice. When I said there are no shops nearby, they demanded rice from the house. They have taken 3 kg boiled rice, 8 kg white rice, tomato and potato from my house."

Enquiries made

The trio were also asking for Biju, whom they said had reportedly informed the police about their visit to Subrahmanya last time.

As a result, one of their collegue Yellappa was killed in crossfire with the ANF (in 2012).

Another resident said: "I encountered three members of the Maoists first. My parents had gone to the temple on account of Sankranti. When I heard dogs barking, I came out of the house and saw three armed persons at my yard. When they introduced themselves as Maoists, I ran towards my uncle's house."

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