A massive combing operation and checking in villages was underway for the five CPI Maoists, including a senior member, carrying a reward of Rs 25 lakh, who escaped after an exchange of fire with police in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district on July 14 night, TelanganaDGP M Mahendar Reddy said on Friday.
The top cop said 500 personnel of Greyhounds, elite anti-naxal force of Telangana Police, Telangana State Special Police, Armed Reserve and local police are on the hunt for the Maoists.
He exuded confidence that they would soon be nabbed and appealed to people not to provide shelter to the outlaws.
Two groups of the Maoists members, including the five member team of ultras led by Bhaskar,Telangana "State Committee" member of the CPI (Maoist), armed with AK-47 gun, had escaped after exchange of fire with the police in separate incidents in forest areas in K B Asifabad district and Bhadradri-Kothagudem district respectively on Tuesday night and on Wednesday morning.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting with senior police officials in K B Asifabad district, he said "We will nab the Maoists shortly and produce them before law."
Reddy vowed to ensure that there was no Maoist activity in Adilabad, Asifabad, Nirmal and Mancherial districts, that constitute the erstwhile undivided Adilabad district.
At a time when the government has taken up a lot of development and welfare programmes, Maoists are seeking to create terror and tension among Adivasis and also sow seeds of suspicion, he said.
Reddy warned that development and welfare programmes undertaken by the state government, particularly for the benefit of the Adivasis, would be hampered if Maoists were allowed to re-enter the district.
"People should cooperate with the police and not provide shelter to the Maoists and ensure they do not re-establish base.
Development and welfare programmes will be hampered (if the Maoists re-enter)," the DGP said.
Bhaskar, who hails from Adilabad district of Telangana, is allegedly involved in multiple offences and has gone underground for nearly 30 years.
He carries a reward of Rs 25 lakh on his head announced by the state government.
His wife is also a Maoist, police said.
The group had entered Telangana from bordering Maharashtra and had been moving around in the forest areas for the past two months.