New Delhi: The Home Ministry on Tuesday issued an alert on possible Naxal attack in view of the 48-hour bandh called by the CPI (Maoists) to protest the recent killing of their top leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad in Andhra Pradesh.
As per reports, the Home Ministry has advised the five most Naxal-affected states to be extra vigilant and take precautionary measures during the two-day all-India shutdown called by the Maoists to avoid any untoward incident.
The Ministry has also directed the regional railway authorities and the respective governments in the Naxal-hit states to tighten security of important trains including the Shatabdi and Rajdhani Express, and ensure full safety of rail tracks.
The warning from the Home Ministry assumes significance since the CPI (Maoists) have vowed to take revenge of Azad’s killing by the Andhra Pradesh police in an encounter near Sarkapalli village in Adilabad district.
Shortly after Azad’s cremation, top Maoist leader Kishenji, speaking from an undisclosed location, claimed that Azad was arrested from Nagpur along with another Maoist, Sukdeb and taken 150 kms away to Adilabad where both were shot dead.
Kishenji said Azad had been proceeding to the Dandakaranya region for a meeting of the CPI (Maoist) central committee when he was caught by the police. He said the central committee meeting was to have discussed developments in the context of Union home minister P Chidambaram`s recent communication to Swami Agnivesh on talks with the Maoists.
Criticising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram and Andhra Pradesh chief minister K Rosaiah, Kishenji said, “It is apparent that the Centre does not want talks. It is speaking of dialogue and yet killing our members.”
“With Azad`s killing, six of 13 Maoist politburo members have either been eliminated or were behind bars, he added.
Speaking about the Chief Ministers meet convened on 24 July to decide on use of Indian Air Force for anti-Maoist operations, Kishenji said the IAF should not be used against poor people.
In a statement issued separately in Hyderabad, the CPI (Maoist) also vowed to avenge Azad`s death and called for a total shutdown starting July 07.