The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Villagers foil bid to snatch legislator

Hyderabad, June 23: The attempt by the People’s War Group to kidnap a Telugu Desam Party MLA came unstuck today when villagers and police thwarted the Naxalites.

One of the six extremists present and a villager died during the attempted abduction of A. Sharadamba of Kalyandurg constituency at 4.30 pm, Anantpur district police said.

Sharadamba was in Ralla Anantpur village as part of the Jana Chaitanya Yatra being conducted by the Desam.

While she was addressing the people, six armed Naxalites who had mingled with the crowd started questioning her on various unfinished projects in her constituency.

When they shouted slogans, Sharadamba’s guard intervened. Manoharan, an 18-year-old villager, was hit by a Naxalite bullet in the resultant confrontation. He died in Kalyandurg Government Hospital later this evening.

Sensing the extremists’ mood, Sharadamba wound up the meeting. But the PWG men followed her some distance, prompting the villagers to come in their way and pelt stones at them.

The Naxalites tried to flee after snatching a pistol and a carbine from Sharadamba’s guard.

On getting news of the attack, police headquarters despatched a special patrol, which reached the village within an hour. They cornered the extremists who were already fleeing in the face of the stone-pelting.

One of the Naxalites was killed in the exchange of fire. Police are on the lookout for the other five.

Nearly 985 Naxalites have been killed in encounters in the state and nearly 3,700 have surrendered since the government crackdown began in 1998.

According to director-general of police P. Ramulu, the PWG has lost nine of its top leaders. “We have formed a hit-list of 16 more top brass of the PWG. If they are brought to book or eliminated, the movement will come to a standstill as the lower cadres are just lumpen elements without any ideology,” he said.

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