Maoist bandh in Malkangiri district

KORAPUT: The Maoists have given a two-day bandh call in Malkangiri district from November 16 to protest against the deployment of central forces in the area. The Red rebels have sent this message through posters put up at several places in the district.

Security personnel spotted a large number of such posters in Kalimela, Bhenjagwada and Motu areas of the district on Tuesday. Sources said the Maoists also want withdrawal of paramilitary forces from anti-Maoist operations, stop to police excesses on tribals and fulfill all conditions laid down by them during the release of abducted former Malkangiri collector R Vineel Krishna.

“The central forces are torturing villagers in the name of combing operations. Innocent tribals are being implicated as Maoists. We demand the immediate withdrawal of paramilitary forces from the area,” a source at Kalimela said quoting a Maoist poster. At present, three battalions of the BSF are deployed in Malkangiri for counter-insurgency operations. “We appeal to all to cooperate during the bandh,” the posters add.

Police have beefed up security along the Orissa-Chhattisgarh border to stop possible influx of Maoists following a gunbattle between the security personnel and Red rebels in the bordering state on Monday night in which three securitymen were seriously injured. The place of incident is about three km from Malkangiri border.

Police said extra forces have been deployed at the possible entry points on the border areas. While combing operations have been intensified, waterways area also being closely monitored.

“Though the situation is under control, we can’t afford to be complacent. All necessary security measures have been taken keeping in view the Maoist offensive in the neighbouring state. The Maoists may try to enter our state. Police have been kept on maximum alert to avert any eventuality,” SDPO (Malkangiri) Uma Shankar Das said.

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