Cops on toes for Naveen’s visit to Maoist-hit dists

KORAPUT: Police have beefed up security for the visit of chief minister Naveen Patnaik to the Maoist-affected Koraput and Malkangiri districts on Thursday. Vehicles entering the districts are being frisked and anti-Maoist operations intensified with deployment of SOG, BSF, OSAP and Odisha Police personnel.

“Though the security situation is under control, we can’t be complacent. Security forces have been kept on high alert to avert any eventuality. Blocking, patrolling and combing operations have been intensified to thwart any possible Maoist attack,” said SP (Koraput) Awinash Kumar. The panic among policemen is understandable following the recent arrest of around a dozen Maoists, recovery of landmines planted by Red rebels and recovery of a huge cache of landmine-making materials from Koraput recently. On Tuesday, police recovered 6,000 meters, which is used by Maoists to blow off landmines, from a bus in Koraput.

Police said though the chief minister’s visit will be restricted to in and around Koraput and Malkangiri towns, security personnel have been deployed at few strategic locations across the districts to block infiltration of the Red rebels into the district headquarters. Around 15 platoons each of securitymen will be pressed into service during the chief minister’s visit. “Borders with neighbouring Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh have been sealed and extra forces deployed to prevent an influx of Maoists into Malkangiri,” the SP (Malkangiri) Akhileswar Singh.

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