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Kandhamal on high alert

Phulbani: A high alert has been sounded in all 14 police station areas in Kandhamal district following revelations by a hardcore Maoist that an attack by the ultras was being planned.

The Maoist, Jagannath Nayak arrested from village Kerubadi under Daringbadi police station five days ago has told interrogators that 150 Koya Kondh Maoists from neighbouring Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand were being trained in the jungles of Kandhamal for the operation, police sources said.

Following the revelations, police patrols were increased and checking was being carried out at all the entry and exit points on the Ganjam and Gajapati border, the sources said. Kandhmal Superintendent of Police J N Pankaj had earlier confirmed that around 200 Maoists from Bihar had entered Kandhmal district about 45 days ago.

At least 20 people have so far been killed in 24 Maoist attacks in the last four years in the district. The Maoists have also claimed to have eliminated VHP leader Laxamananda Saraswati following which the district witnessed largescale violence in 2008. Maoists also twice attacked a police outpost at Katingia and a forest beat house at Barba village under Balliguda forest division.

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