Maoist formation day peaceful in south Odisha

KORAPUT: The formation day celebrations of the Maoists passed off peacefully without any violence in the Red-hit Koraput, Malkangiri, Rayagada and Nabarangapur districts of south Odisha amid tight security arrangements on Friday.

Every year, the rebels observe September 21 as their formation day as the party was born on this day in 2004 after the merger of the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCC), the People’s War Group (PWG) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist).

Over the last week, the Maoists had put up posters and banners at several places in the southern districts urging people to celebrate the day in a big way. Posters were spotted in large numbers at Undrukonda, Potakhal and Bhenjagwada areas in Kalimela police station area on Thursday.

“At present, the situation is under control and no violence has been reported. But we can’t be complacent and police are on high alert,” said DIG (south west range) S Devdutta Singh.

Sources said life was unaffected on Friday in the Maoist dominated areas of Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon of Koraput district, Muniguda and Chandrapur of Rayagada district and Kalimela and Chitrakonda of Malkangiri district. Buses ran on regular routes, shops and markets remained open.

Police, on its part, was fully prepared to tackle violence. “All necessary security arrangements were made to avoid any untoward incident. Additional forces had been deployed at a few strategic locations and we were very watchful,” said Koraput SP Awinash Kumar.

Police said people should not confuse the Maoists celebration with a bandh. “The Maoists had not given a bandh call and traffic was normal across the district,” the SP added.

However, there was palpable tension among common people of the area after the Red rebels murdered a ward member in Nabarangapur district on charges of being a police informer on Thursday, and security personnel recovered two powerful landmines from Jeypore-Malkangiri road the day before.

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