ON JUNE 29 at around 8 am, Maoist leader Ramanna, alias Ravula Srinivas, made a surprise call to TEHELKA. The mastermind of the deadliest Naxal attack ever — the massacre of 76 CRPF jawans on April 6 — sounded furious. Speaking in his usual Telugu-accented Hindi, he said, “The CRPF and state police are spreading terror in the region. They want to drive out all the tribals so that multinational companies can happily mine here.” Unaware of the impending attack in the afternoon, this correspondent took note of the angry statements from Ramanna, the secretary of the south Bastar regional committee of the CPI (Maoist).
“The security forces are now torturing and raping innocent tribal women and girls,” he said, citing many instances.
Ramanna went on to issue a threat against the security forces. “I know most of them (the forces) are from poor families. Some of them are also tribals. But that is no excuse for the kind of atrocities they are inflicting on women and girls. We will conduct a similar ambush like the one we did at Chintalnar and Chintagufa and teach them a lesson,” he said. Within hours of the call, Maoist cadres ambushed 63 security personnel, killing 26, just three kilometres from the CRPF camp in Narayanpur district.by