Himansu Shekhar Rout

Maoists had turned a cave in Tulasi Hill located deep in the forests of Malkangiri district into their weapon arsenal. The secret repository came to the fore after the jawans of the Border Security Force (BSF) busted the hideout and recovered a huge cache of explosives, arms, and ammunition during a combing operation in the wee hours of Thursday. This has come at a time when the Assembly elections are in progress in neighbouring Chhattisgarh.  

It is suspected that the cave used to provide a safe haven to the Left-wing ultras inside the deep forest. Before they could perpetrate a major attack or violence, the BSF thwarted their attempt.

As per reports, Tulasi Hill is located on the border of neighbouring Chhattisgarh. As the elections are underway in Chhattisgarh, the Maoists were suspected to be planning to launch a major attack to disrupt the polling process by operating from the Odisha side. As the security and surveillance had been tightened, the ultras might have felt it safe to hide their arms and ammunition in the hill cave, which was away from the glare of the security forces. 

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Sources said, that when the search operation in the area was going on, the BSF jawans came to know about the dump of the arms and ammunition. Among the articles seized from the cave included tiffin bombs, grenades, walkie-talkie sets, and Maoist literature. 

Reports said as the area is on the borders of Chhattisgarh, Maoists usually move in the hilly terrains on the Malkangiri side. Six months ago, the Red Rebels used to hold a sway in the area. But after a BSF camp was set up, the ultras have reportedly been on the back foot. 

Meanwhile, the BSF suspect similar ammunition dumps in the hilly areas and intensified search operations.

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