US embassy cable - 05CHENNAI1976

INDEPENDENCE DAY TERROR: MAOISTS SLAUGHTER LEGISLATOR, EIGHT OTHERS

Identifier: 05CHENNAI1976
Wikileaks: View 05CHENNAI1976 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Chennai
Created: 2005-08-16 10:24:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PGOV PINR PTER IN Counter
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 CHENNAI 001976 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV, PINR, PTER, IN, Counter-Terrorism 
SUBJECT: INDEPENDENCE DAY TERROR: MAOISTS SLAUGHTER 
LEGISLATOR, EIGHT OTHERS 
 
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On Indian Independence Day, Andhra 
Pradesh Maoists gunned down a senior Congress 
legislator and eight others at a public function in 
broad daylight.  The biggest Maoist attack since the 
peace process broke down in January has sent 
shockwaves among politicians who are getting ready to 
campaign for the September Municipal elections.  An 
insider journalist contact believes that the 
government will soon re-impose its ban on Maoists and 
go for tough police action in the wake of the 
incident.  If that happens, more tit for tat violence 
is likely.  END SUMMARY 
 
------------------------------------ 
DAYLIGHT ATTACK STUNS ANDHRA PRADESH 
------------------------------------ 
 
2. (SBU) A suspected action team of the Communist 
Party of India (Maoist) shot dead 75-year-old Congress 
legislator Narsi Reddy, his son Venkateswara Reddy, 
Municipal Commissioner Rammohan and six others on 
August 15.  The legislator was opening a road in a 
Dalit colony in Narayanpet in Mahaboobnagar district, 
near the border with Karnataka, as part of the 
Independence Day celebrations when two terrorists 
sprayed bullets from AK 47 rifles.  Deputy Inspector 
General in charge of intelligence operations against 
Maoists, Thirumal Rao, told Post that about five 
Maoist militants, including one female, participated 
in the attack.  According to Rao, vehicle-checking 
police spotted the suspects 130 kilometers from the 
attack site on motorcycles, but were "unable" to 
arrest them.  He did not elaborate. 
 
3. (U) Apart from the nine who died, 17 suffered 
injuries in the incident, the biggest Maoist attack 
since the AP Congress government's peace process broke 
down in January. 
 
--------------------------------- 
LEGISLATOR IGNORED MAOIST WARNING 
--------------------------------- 
 
4. (SBU) Regional English Daily "The Deccan Herald" 
reported that the Maoists had recently declared that 
they would kill Reddy, his daughter Aruna, also a 
legislator, and son-in-law Bharat Simha Reddy, a 
former MLA, alleging that they were responsible for 
the sale of illicit liquor in the district.  The 
Speaker of the AP Assembly, however, described Narsi 
Reddy as "a personification of discipline and 
decorum," and the Chief Minister Y.S. Rajashekhara 
Reddy described him as "a gentleman to the core and 
one of the most respected leaders." 
 
------------------------------------------ 
CHIEF MINISTER SEES CHANGE IN MAOIST STYLE 
------------------------------------------ 
 
5. (SBU) Chief Minister Reddy told the Press in 
Hyderabad that since the Peoples' War Naxalite group 
merged with the Maoist Communist Center (MCC) in 
October 2004, their style of operations has changed. 
"Earlier they were killing only their targets; now 
they are opening fire indiscriminately against 
innocent civilians", he said.  "This is like the 
mindless violence you see in Bihar, he told the 
media."  Journalists recalled that in April, Maoists 
triggered a claymore mine in a crowded place in their 
attempt on the life of Prakasam, District Police Chief 
Mahesh Chandra Laddha. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
AP GOVERNMENT MAY REIMPOSE BAN; TOUGHEN ITS STAND 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
6. (SBU) After presiding over an emergency meeting 
with senior police officials, Chief Minister Y.S. 
Rajashekhara Reddy told journalists that the 
government was seriously considering re-imposing the 
ban on Maoists and going in hot pursuit after the 
armed squads.  The Hindu senior Correspondent 
Sreenivasa Reddy, covering Maoist militancy for 
several years, told post that the state government 
would soon take the decision to re-impose the ban on 
Maoists.  "Not that the ban would cause any major 
setback to the Maoists; it would help project the 
Maoists as persona non grata, thereby giving a 
psychological edge to the police in their operations," 
he said.  He ruled out the chance of the government 
going soft on the Maoists again in view of the 
upcoming municipal elections. 
 
-------------------------------------- 
BACK TO THE DAYS OF BLOODY ENCOUNTERS? 
-------------------------------------- 
 
7. (SBU) COMMENT: The symbolic significance of the 
Independence day terror is not lost on the AP 
politicians who are worried about carrying out their 
public contact programs.  Campaigning in the upcoming 
Municipal elections will be tough.  Some Telangana 
politicians, particularly those of the Telangana 
Rashtra Samithy, believe that the July 1 killing of 
Naxalite (Janashakti) leader Riyaz started off the 
present chain of bloody encounters.  Reverting to the 
ban and tough police action against the Maoists could 
result in more bloody incidents, at least in the near 
term.  END COMMENT 
 
CANDADAI 

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