Villagers, Maoists Face Off In Odisha: Security Beefed Up In ‘Swabhiman’ Area

Malkangiri: A day after a Maoist was allegedly stoned to death by residents of Janturai village under Papermetla police limits in Malkangiri district, security has been beefed up in anticipation of retaliation from the red rebels.

Following the killing of their cadre, Maoists had reportedly torched several houses in Jodamba village. It was the first incident of villagers sending a strong message to the Maoists who entered into a scuffle with the locals for supporting developmental works in the region.

Over 1,000 armed jawans of SOG and BSF have now been deployed in four to five villages in the district to provide security cover to the villagers.

“SOG and BSF jawans have cordoned off the area and there is no possibility of any Maoist retaliation. In each village, there is a deployment of security personnel,” said a security official.

One of the villagers whose house was set on fire by Maoists said, “We did not get any chance to save the house and all our belongings were gutted.”

According to sources, locals of four villages have vowed to confront the Maoists and have assembled in one camp. The administration too is not leaving any stone unturned to ensure that the villagers do not face any problems.

Malkangiri Collector Manish Agarwal and SP Rishikesh Khilari today visited the spot and held discussions with the locals. The officials have assured all possible help to strengthen security in the region.

“A model village will be set up at Jodamba village and the locals will be provided with all necessary amenities so that people’s faith on administration is restored,” said Agarwal.

Moreover, a compensation of Rs 30,000 each was provided to 12 families whose houses were torched by the Maoists.

“People are feeling safe now and our focus will be on their protection as well,” said Malkangiri SP, Rishikesh Khilari.