In an incident that triggered mild tension in Andhra Pradesh's Srikakulam district, the police unearthed six landmines close to the Donubai forest on Tuesday. A country-made pistol was also found on the spot.
Speaking to reporters, R N Ammi Reddy, Superintendent of Police, Srikakulam, said that the mines had been traced during routine combing operations and were successfully defused.
"The landmine dump might have been set up almost six years ago. By completing the circuit with the help of remote or even a mobile phone, those mines can be used for massive destruction," Ammi Reddy was quoted as saying.
The SP also added that they suspected the Konda Baredu Dalam (squad) of the CPI (Maoist) to have planted the mines.
Meanwhile, in a related development, seven Maoists, including three women, surrendered to the Visakhapatnam police on Tuesday.
The Maoists, who were reported to be area committee members of Galikonda, Korukonda and Gurtedu Dalam, were carrying a reward of Rs 4 lakh each.
They said that they had left the forests of the Andhra-Odisha border without informing the CPI (Maoist), as they feared continuous combing operations by authorities.
The banned outfit has seemingly been on the offensive since last year, after Nambala Keshava Rao alias Basavaraj succeeded Ganapathy as the General Secretary of the party last year.
Basavaraj, who is on the most-wanted list of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), is believed to hail from Jiyannapet of Kotabommali of Andhra's Srikakulam district.
The CPI (Maoist) has three crucial wings; the Central Committee (CC), the Polit Bureau (PB), and the Central Military Commission (CMC). Before taking over as the General Secretary, Basavaraj reportedly headed the military wing since its formation in 2004.