Heavy rain helped police trap the Maoists in Attapadi

Tijo Jose

The Maoist group is considered to have settled in the Manjikkandi forest from September 22. After this, the North-East monsoon intensified and blocked the group’s journey.

Palakkad: It was the heavy rain that prompted Maoists to prepare a temporary camp near Manjakandi forest in Attappadi forest area. The group led by Manivasakam usually doesn’t stay in one place for more than a week. This created a lot of confusion for Thunderbolt police, the police said.

The Maoist group is considered to have settled in the Manjakandi forest from September 22. After this, the North-East monsoon intensified and blocked the group’s journey.

The police feel that this could have encouraged the Maoists to set up a base in the comparatively safer Manjakandi forest area. Manivasakam’s group has received special training to reside in the forest for a long time without establishing any sort of contact with the Adivasi villages where spies are present. They planned their activities after studying where the cameras of the forest officers were placed. The Kerala- Tamil Nadu police have been trying to nab them for a long time now.

All this while, what saved them from the police radar was not settling down anywhere other than for a brief period. The group did not indulge in any activities other than collecting food items from Adivasi villages. The special task force authorities say that the group’s activities were centred around the forest areas of Kerala. Tamil Nadu, Goa and Karnataka.

Pamphlets and posters as signs

Pamphlets and posters suggesting Maoist presence in the area were found in the Attappadi forest area in regular intervals. Though Thunderbolt and Tamil Nadu police carried out a search for them in the forest area, it turned out to be futile.

Meanwhile, they even tried to deceive the police into believing that they shifted to Nadukani forest area. Maoists usually consider monsoon as a safe season for them.

Safe Western Ghats

Attappadi reserve forest, which includes Silent Valley, has been a safe ground for Maoists for ages. A lot of Maoists activities have been confirmed in the last few years in the area. Experienced trekkers from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka can reach Attappadi through the mountains.

Maoists from Karnataka can reach Shishupara (Kerala- Tamil Nadu border) via Wayanad Meppadi, Kalikavu. One can reach the forest above Aanavayi village of Silent Valley easily from here. Maoists from Tamil Nadu can reach Shishupara through Manjoor, Bengithapa, Naddukani. The forest area between Mulli and Silent Valley shares its boundaries with Kerala and Tamil Nadu

Thudukki, Galasi, Kadukumanna, Karuvara, Idavani, where indigenous tribals reside, are the areas where Maoist presence is most felt. Their presence can also be found in Varadimala area of Sholayur.

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