Odisha border on high alert after Sukma onslaught

Bhubaneswar: With the Ministry of Home Affairs fixing a meeting on May 8, two days after the deadliest Naxal encounter in Sukma of Chhattisgarh in which 25 security personnel were killed, Odisha police has intensified its operation and sealed the border areas apprehending influx of rebels from the bordering State.

Director General of Police Kunwar Brajesh Singh said combing operations have been intensified in vulnerable pockets especially Maoist-infested areas after the Chhattisgarh incident. Terming the incident as an act of cowardice, Singh said standard operating procedure (SOP) and anti Naxal strategies will be renewed. “In Naxal areas, we are revisiting the SOP, trying to get more information about the Maoist movement in these areas,” he said.

“It was an act of cowardice by Maoists as they use children, women and normal citizen in violent activities,” he added.

The intelligence wing has been asked to strengthen its network in the sensitive districts. Security personnel would take local tribes into confidence so that the Maoists do not get the support from villagers,” Singh told media persons.

On the other hand, chief minister Naveen Patnaik described the Chhattisgarh Naxal violence a tragic event. He pinned hope on the meeting of the Home Ministry. “Let’s wait the invitation of the Home Minister. Of course what happened in Chhattisgarh is very tragic”, Patnaik said.

All eyes are now on the May 8 meeting in which various strategies to fight the left wing extremists will be discussed. The SOP will also be on focus.

Last time Odisha witnessed Maoist onslaught was on February 1 when eight police personnel were killed in a landline blast at Sunki hill in Koraput district.