Maoist Martyrs’ Week: Security Tightened, Bus Services Stopped in Malkangiri

Malkangiri: With the ultras observing Martyrs’ Week from today, security has been stepped up in Naxal-affected Malkangiri and other areas to avoid any untoward incident till August 3.

As a precautionary measure, government bus services were also stopped today in Malkangiri in view of the Martyrs’ Week (locally called as the Shahid Saptah).

“Security has been beefed up in the forest interiors of all Maoist-hit areas as they are observing martyrs’ week from July 28 to August 3,” said a police official.

“Combing operations have been intensified in the border areas, though security has always been maintained at top level in entire Malkangiri, which is considered as a stronghold of ultras,” the official added.

According to police, cultural programmes, meetings and recruitment drives are undertaken by the Maoists during the week, meant to commemorate the cadres killed by the security forces.

So far, no untoward incident has been reported. However, the security forces intensified the combing operations after Naxal pamphlets and posters were found at some places in Muniguda area of Rayagada district.

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Urging youths to join the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), another Maoist poster surfaced along National Highway-59 near Midiapanga under Baliguda police limits of Kandhamal district.

Malkangiri SP, Jagmohan Meena said, “BSF camps and other police troops have been asked to stay alert. The police personnel have been issued advisory to check unnecessary movement. Operational teams like SOGs, DVFs and BSF have jointly intensified the combing operations in the interior areas.”

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Meanwhile in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Maoists today gunned down a man at Kumkumgudi village in Visakhapatnam district suspecting him to be police informer.

A red flag rally was organized on the eve of this public meeting. The much awaited Gurupriya Bridge recently inaugurated by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was cited as an obstacle, added sources.

In a related development, a hardcore Maoist couple identified as Mukesh and Ratna today surrendered before the Malkangiri Superintendent of Police (SP). The couple, allegedly involved in more than 40 cases, was active in the cut-off areas of Malkangiri. Both of them were reportedly carrying reward money of Rs. four lakhs and one lakh respectively, sources said.