Karakagudem undergoes sea change

Karakagudem undergoes sea change
Highlights

The village situated in the thick forest region used to be the stronghold of Naxalites always keeping the villagers on tenterhooks. More often than not, they were caught in the crossfire between the police and the Naxalites. The violent incidents of 1992 and 1997 claimed the lives of 26 police personnel in the then united Andhra Pradesh.

Kothagudem: It is hard to forget Karakagudem village which was once the bastion of Naxalites. The village had seen enough violence where a number of police personnel were killed and police stations blasted. The picture of the old village has been changed completely post its transformation into mandal headquarters in the new district of Bhadradri-Kothagudem.

The village situated in the thick forest region used to be the stronghold of Naxalites always keeping the villagers on tenterhooks. More often than not, they were caught in the crossfire between the police and the Naxalites. The violent incidents of 1992 and 1997 claimed the lives of 26 police personnel in the then united Andhra Pradesh.

There was hardly any transport facility to the village. The officials used to reach the village by walk and the only communication was through wireless sets of the police force. The higher officials of police department used to visit the village amidst tight security of at least 50 cops. During 1992, the Naxalites blew the police jeep while moving on a culvert on Rallavagu near Kalvala Nagaram killing ten police personnel.

Again in 1997 on January 9, the armed extremists attacked the police station and blasted the police station killing 16 policemen. The then Chief Minister, Nara Chandrababu Naidu, visited the village along with the then Minister Tummala Nageswara Rao.

Following a representation by the then District Collector Giridhar and SP Rajaratnam Naidu, the government granted funds and constructed a bullet-proof police station. That was the beginning of the transformation of Karakagudem.

After formation of Telangana, local MLA Payam Venkateswarlu led the people of Karakagudem to stage demonstration demanding announcement of Karakagudem as mandal headquarters. The government favourably responded and awarded the mandal headquarters status to Karakagudem.

The remote village has now become the mandal headquarters with new buildings for all the government offices bringing administration closer to the people. The elderly villagers recalling the incidents of another era express disbelief over the village’s transformation into mandal headquarters.

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