Even as the Andhra Pradesh government looks set to move its executive capital to Visakhapatnam, the state police have raised a red flag. That’s because Visakhapatnam district is part of the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) zone where the Maoists are quite active. If the capital is moved to Vizag, it will mean the presence of a large number of political VIPs and that will entail a even bigger security paraphernalia to guard them 24×7.
“Proximity to the AOB area is definitely a matter of concern as retreat after committing an offence is easy,” said a senior Andhra Pradesh police officer.
Over the last decade, the naxals have been ousted from both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, with the AOB the sole territory of activity as access to Odisha provides them with a safe escape zone.
In September 2018, Telugu Desam MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao was shot dead by Maoists in the Araku valley area of Visakhapatnam district. Urban action teams of the outlaws are known to be active in the AOB area and the presence of ministers in Visakhapatnam will keep the police constantly on tenterhooks.
The GN Rao committee that went into the question of whether to continue with Amaravati or relocate the state capital did not elaborate on the security threat perception in Visakhapatnam. Another committee will look at the GN Rao committee findings and it will be seen if the police input has a bearing on the final decision.