3 Maoists arrested, rebels observe ‘Martyrs’ Week’ in Odisha

Three Maoists were arrested in Odisha’s Koraput district amid “Martyrs’ Week” being observed by the Naxals which affected normal life in rebel-hit southern region of the state on its first day today.

A joint team of BSF jawans and police yesterday arrested three ultras, two of them identified as Allaya Musika and Kumbha Mandangi, while SOG personnel caught another rebel – Mangra Sirika – following a tip-off, police said.

“Mangra, involved in Maoist activities for a long time, was arrested from his house in Jhadupadar village in Narayanpatna area and the other two were picked up from Gotiput,” Koraput SP Awinash Kumar said.

On the first day of the rebel’s Martyr’s Day, the movement of vehicles was disrupted with the termination of long and short-distance passenger buses for security reasons in districts like Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada and Gajapati, officials said.

Trucks and other private vehicles also remained off the road while shops and business establishments downed their shutter in several interior areas though urban centres saw usual commercial activities, they said.

The district witnessed stepped up poster campaign by the Naxals as part of their Martyrs Week from today to August 3, officials said, adding pro-Maoist posters were found in Lamptaput, Onkadeli, Narayanpatna, Bandhugaon, Laxmipur and Potangi.

In Malkangiri district, ultras sang revolutionary songs at various places including Digjanbai, Panaspur, Ralegada and Jantri across the cut-off area in inaccessible Chindrakonda block where ‘Martyrs’ pillars’ have been erected.

Cadre belonging to Maoist-backed Chasi Mulia Advisai Sangh, Women Maoist Organisations, Praja Natya Dalam and Bal Sangathans assembled at different places from across the state and neighbouring Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh to observe the ‘Martyrs’ Day’.

They garlanded statues of Maoist leaders and held meetings at various places to chalk out strategy.

Similar reports were received from districts like Rayagada and Gajapati.

Security has been tightened and combing operation intensified as a precautionary measure in all Naxal-affected districts, a senior police official said.

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