The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Naxalites free 3 cops, keep 1

Hyderabad, Aug. 26: The People’s War Group today released three of the four constables who were abducted during rebel raids on Anakapally and Chodvaram police stations on Friday night.

One of the constables, Chittibabu, continues to be in Naxalite custody for the fourth day. The police had kept a combing operation on standby last night expecting the release of the hostages.

“We will wait for another 24 hours for the release of Chittibabu,” said police commissioner Atul Singh.

The released policemen arrived at Anakapally early today after seven to eight hours of trekking through dense forests.

“We do not know where they left us. We did not come across any village during our trek through the darkness. Even when they took us, we walked through the night,” said Narasimha Raju.

The policemen were brought to Visakhapatnam to brief senior officers, including director-general of police P. Ramulu, who has been camping in the port city for the past two days.

The police believe the militant group that carried out the operation belonged to cross-border units of the PWG. They also suspect that the rebels were using imported wireless sets of the brand.

“The extremists might have taken time to establish contact with their leaders. Hence the delay in conveying the conditions for the release of the hostages,” the police said.

Earlier, policemen in Anakapally took out a procession wearing black badges and observed a bandh to protest the kidnapping. Leaders of the police associations and civil rights organisations called on the families of the victims.

Ramulu is confident the kidnap drama would be over by tomorrow. The police suspect the PWG has begun mass recruitments after the peace talks with the Andhra Pradesh government failed.

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