Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has sought to create a fear of the Maoist problem being revived if Telangana is carved out from the state but an internal report prepared by his own administration seeks to contradict his claim,saying there are just 140 active armed cadres in the regions bordering Telangana.
To say that splitting the state would lead to an immediate jump in this number is to rush things,some top state police officers from the state said. Giving an idea of the size of the problem in Andhra Pradesh,they said Gadchiroli district in neighbouring Maharashtra alone has 400 such armed cadres and there are 5,000 of them in all of Chhattisgarh.
The internal report was presented at the annual Chief Ministers conference on Left Wing Extremism (LWE) in Delhi in July 2012 and the officers said the cadre numbers in the state had not changed since. In all there are 340 underground workers from Andhra Pradesh,of them 140 are active on the border, the report said. Intense combing operations had pushed the remaining 200 to Chhattisgarh.
Andhra Pradesh is seen as the most successful among all LWE-affected states to have contained the Maoist influence,so much so that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has on several occasions asked other states to emulate the model. We have a well-entrenched intelligence network and we reached the 140-figure after doing a headcount. All these people have been identified,we have their names and details, said a senior AP police officer. There are eight districts in undivided Andhra Pradesh affected by the LWE problem. While four of these Adilabad,Karimnagar,Warangal and Khammam fall in the Telangana region,Srikakulam,Vijaynagram,Visakhapatnam Rural and East Godavari are in the Andhra region.
Opinion among security forces involved in anti-Naxal operations has been divided on the spread of LWE violence once the state is split. After he retired as AP DGP last month,V Dinesh Reddy had said the CM wanted him to say that splitting the state would strengthen the Maoists. To say that the bifurcation could lead to an immediate increase in Maoist violence would be rushing things, said a senior officer.
Another officer said a lot would also depend on the division of assets between the two states.