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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Malkangiri: The Maoists have given a day-long bandh call in Malkangiri on Monday protesting the recent police encounter at Alampakka area under ‘Swabhiman Anchal’ in the district in which two red ultras were killed.

A poster reportedly put up by Maoist leader and Andhra-Odisha Zonal Committee Secretary Kailash, states that the gunfight between the Maoists and the security forces at Alampakka area, as is being claimed by the police is false; the police actually killed two unarmed Maoists on November 22.

“Protesting the encounter of the unarmed Maoists the bandh-call has been given,” the poster mentioned.

The Maoist leader has also released an audio tape condemning the killings and action by the administration, police and the Odisha government.

However, the impact of the bandh has reportedly been felt only in some places and there is little or no impact on the day-to- day life in the district so far. The government offices would remain closed during the period and plying of government buses to and from the district has also been cancelled for today.

According to police sources, the bandh-call by the Maoists hints at the frustration of the LWEs due to the increased area domination by security forces.

On December 13, two Maoists including a woman cadre were gunned down during an exchange of fire with the Special Operations Group (SOG) and District Voluntary Force (DVF) personnel at ‘Swabhiman Anchal’.

A huge cache of explosives and Maoist articles were also seized by the security personnel from the spot.

Two months back, a woman Maoist cadre was shot dead and a Special Operations Group (SOG) Jawan sustained injuries in an exchange of fire in a forest near Badakhama in Kandhamal district. The deceased was a member of Kalahandi Kandhamal Boudh Nayagarh (KKBN) division of outlawed CPI (Maoist) organisation.

(Edited by Devbrat Patnaik)

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