Forest Guards Injured In ‘Maoist’ Attack
ANGUL: TWO forest guards were attacked by suspected Maoists in the Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday night. While police are yet to confirm involvement of Maoists, locals said there has been movement of ultras, who frequent villages for quenching thirst, in recent times. The forest guards, Arun Dash and Pratap Bhoi, who are still in a state of shock, have not been able to give the details of the incident. Sources said while patrolling the forest, the forest guards came across the ultras who attacked them. The incident took place near Asanbahal area of Pampasar range, about 35 km away from here.
Villagers said there has been movement of Maoists in the area ever since summer set in. They further said Maoists come to the villages for water, food and also hold meetings with them. Villagers added that at least 40 cadres are present in the sanctuary area. Angul SP Rajesh Pandit said the case is being verified.
Maoists were first sighted in Satkosia three years back and they tried to enlist the support of the locals who were aggrieved with the State Government since it imposed restrictions on their stay in the sanctuary area. In December last year, members of the Sambalpur-Deogarh-Sundargarh division, who sneaked into the sanctuary last week, had a face-off with the SOG. Sources said Satkosia was chosen as a safe place by the ultras because of thick vegetation. They were earlier using Thakurgarh forest, adjacent to Satkosia, as their transit route from Kalahandi to Jharkhand. Recently, they decided to make Satkosia their new corridor.
Two arrests reported in Bijapur.