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Vikash Sharma

Malkangiri: Throwing open challenge for Odisha Police and security forces, left-wing extremists organised a huge congregation (Praja Meli) in Swabhiman Anchal of Malkangiri district.

Despite inclement weather, hundreds of people holding red flags in support of the ultras attended the gathering. As per reports, the red rebels raised slogans against the government and opposed the construction of Gurupriya Bridge.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Praji Meli has been organised during observance of the week-long Martyrs Week (Shahid Saptah) by the Naxals which will continue till August 3. The congregation is part of the strategy of the rebels to send a message regarding their presence in the area.

It may be noted that while the government has issued strict restrictions to prevent worsening of the ongoing Covid pandemic situation, a video of the congregation showed participants openly violating social distancing norms and other Covid guidelines.

Meanwhile, in order to avoid any untoward incidents during the Shahid Saptah, security forces & Odisha Police have already intensified combing operations in the tribal-dominated region.

The development comes just days after Odisha DGP urged the members of the outlawed organisation to surrender and return to the mainstream.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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