Security tightened across state for R-Day

Bhubaneswar: With Maoists asking people to boycott the Republic Day on Wednesday and observe it as "blackday", security was tightened across Orissa, particularly the southern region, to prevent any untoward incident and ensure peaceful celebration of the national festival.

A thick security blanket was thrown over Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Ganjam, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts with heavy force deploymentand intensive patrolling as Maoists put up posters at several places warning people not to celebrate Republic day.

Maoist posters were found in Kalimela and Motu areas of naxal-infested Malkangiri district today besides Bhanjanagar in Ganjam district, police said adding a black flag was also put up by the rebels in Bhanjanagar.

"We are keeping a close vigil while security has been tightened in the district," Malkangiri superintendent of police Anirudh Singh said adding all vehicles were being thoroughly checked and entry points sealed.

Senior police officials also expressed doubts about genuineness of the posters, saying it may be the handiwork of mischievous elements." They appealed to the people not to panic.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made in southern region for the Republic Day, said DIG of Police (Southern range) R K Sharma.

The security personnel are keeping a watch on vulnerable areas in Maoist infested districts like Ganjam, Gajapati and Kandhamal.

Extra precaution was adopted in Ganjam district as police yesterday unearthed three landmines planted by Maoists near Barada village under Baragada police limit, where the red rebels torched at least five vehicles of a contractor engaged in road construction last week.

The leftwing ultras had also torched another vehicle of another contractor at Birikote under Bhanjanagar police limit recently and threatened the contractors not to execute the work without their permission.

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