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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Malkangiri: After unrest over the killing of left-wing extremists and subsequent confrontation between pro-development groups and those supporting the Maoists, now fresh tension continues to brew up in the Swabhiman area of the district in the form of a poster war between the rebels and local residents.

As per reports, a number of posters claiming to be issued by Andhra Odisha Border Zonal Committee, a faction of the red rebels, warning the locals to refrain from going against them have been found in many places of the region.

Leaders of the MKB (Malkangiri-Koraput Border) Committee of the Maoists had issued a stern warning to the people of Jodamba and Janturai a few days back to face dire consequences if they don't refrain from informing police about their whereabouts.

However, throwing Maoist threats to the wind, the Malkangiri District Tribal Development Council openly urged locals not to be swayed away and also started issuing posters against the left-wing extremism in the area.

With the conflict now leading to a poster war between both groups, the villagers meanwhile are perplexed by the situation.

While the threatening letters from the left-wing extremists found in many places including the boats operated between the cut-off area and Chitrakonda have made the locals fearful, on the other hand a call from the Tribal Development Council to not bow down to the oppression by the Maoists has provided them with a slight glimmer of hope.

It may be noted that for the first time after the inauguration of Gurupriya Bridge in 2018 which brought a new life to the otherwise cut-off tribal dominated region, Chitrakonda has been witnessing continuous unrest due to occasional conflicts between Maoists and local people for last few months.

Recently some villagers allegedly killed two Maoists in Janturai area which sparked a retaliatory torching of houses by the Maoists in the region. Following the incident, heavy security was deployed in the area, to keep a leash on Maoists from creating further unrest in the area.

Odisha Police DG Abhay also visited the province on Saturday to review the law and order situation.

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