Maoists spreading network in Bolangir

Bolangir: The abductions of two Italian tourists and the Laxmipur BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka has stirred not just Odisha but also the nation. Efforts are on for the safe release of one Italain national and the tribal MLA from the clutches of the ultras. The red rebels, it is seen, have been spreading their network from one district to another. In Bolangir the Maoists have entrenched themselves in four blocks and even senior police officials admit it.

The ultras reportedly have been organising meetings in villages under Tureikela block regularly and discussing about problems of the villagers. The Maoists recently set fire to one illegal country liquor shop in a village as people complained about its presence. Maoist posters appearing in villages have become very common. The effect of the recent shutdown call by the Maoists was observed in several parts of Bolangir district. The Maoists have reportedly created strong bases in Lathore, Khaprakhol and Tureikela blocks.

Maoist activities have been on the rise in Bolangir district in the last two years and the security personnel and the red cadres have faced each other on many occasions in different parts of the district. However, only one woman Maoist has been killed in police operations while the ultras have slained two panchayat level politicians.

Senior police officials though tight-lipped about naxalite activities in the district however admit that the ultras are spreading their network in remote parts of the district. Even politicians admit it. However, senior police officials claimed that the security personnel were fully prepared to tackle the Maoists.