Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Security forces have stepped up operations across various districts, particularly along the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border, in wake of the Maoists sponsored ‘Martyrs Week’ (Sahid Diwas) which is being observed from today till August 3.

Vigil has been intensified and combing operations have been stepped up in most of the sensitive areas to avert any sabotage attempt by the ultras. The Red Rebels usually increase their activities and attack police during the week-long celebration. They also motivate young boys and girls from different villages to join their fold. This necessitates beefing up of security measures in the Naxal-hit pockets.

According to reports, the Maoists have put up banners and posters in several areas bordering Odisha and Andhra Pradesh asking people to observe the Martyrs’ Week. They are also constructing statues in memory of their late leaders who had been killed during counter-insurgency operations by security forces.

Security forces have decided not to slow down their anti-Maoist operations this year despite the onset of monsoon. They are pressing ahead in the Maoist heartland to thwart any action plan of the left-wing extremists who have reportedly extended their tactical counter offensive campaign well into the rainy season. 

“The Maoists are desperate to regain their strength, infuse confidence among their cadres, recruit people and simultaneously mount pressure on the forces. We have strategically planned to continue our anti-Maoist operation in the Naxal affected regions as far as possible,” said an officer deployed in anti-Maoist operations.

Since the Red ultras also organise meetings in villages, security forces have been instructed to ensure that the trust gained from the local population should remain with the police.

Martyrs Week celebration of the Maoists has partially affected Malkangiri district as the Red rebels have become more active in the area. Government bus services have been stopped throughout the district including the Swabhiman Anchal and Motu.

However, Malkangiri police have assured people not to panic as adequate security arrangements have been put in place for the Martyr’s Week.

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