KORAPUT: Security personnel came across three landmines near Sikpali weekly market within Malkangiri police limits on Wednesday. This comes a day before Kranti Diwas that the Maoists celebrate in memory leader Kranti Ranveer, who was killed in police firing while attacking Motu police station on August 9, 2001.
“The Maoists had planted landmines targeting BSF and SOG personnel because the spot is used by jawans to rest during combing operations,” SP (Malkangiri) Akhilesh Singh said. He said all the three landmines would have exploded at the same time because they had a single connection. “We could not recover the landmines because it was already evening. The explosives will be defused on Thursday,” he said.
Security has also been tightened in Malkangiri district for Kranti Diwas “We are not leaving anything to chance. Security personnel have been kept on high alert to avoid any eventuality. All type of counter-insurgency operations have been intensified. Though the celebrations are for a day, Maoists usually extend it till August 15,” said Singh.
Though the extremists have not given a bandh call for their celebration and have not put up posters, police have stepped up patrolling and combing operations across the district. All vehicles entering Malkangiri town are being frisked.
Panic among the security personnel is understandable given that the Maoists gunned down a special police officer at Podia weekly market during the recently concluded Martyrs Week which the Red organization celebrated from July 28 to August 3. “To stop a possible influx of Maoists into the district, adequate security personnel have been deployed at a few locations in bordering areas. Security personnel have been given special instructions to follow while moving in the interior areas. At present, the situation is normal,” the SP said.