Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Malkangiri, Jul 1:
The outlawed CPI-Maoist todaybegan its week-long ‘Pratibada Saptaha’ (protest week) demanding a halt to ‘Operation Green Hunt’ by security forces in disrupting life in the southern districts of Odisha.
The Maoist call has disrupted daily lives in Gajapati, Malkangiri, Koraput and Rayagada districts. Fearful of consequences, most buses, both private and government, stayed off the roads in these districts severely affecting communication and transport in these districts.
In view of the threat of violence during the protest week, the government is not taking any chances and has pressed into service Special Operations Group (SOG), Border Security Force (BSF) and District Voluntary Force (DVF) have been deployed at crucial sections of these districts and check points have been erected at entrances of the towns to keep an eye on Maoist movements. Police are continuing their combing operation in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
BSF IG arrived in Malkangiri today to take stock of the situation.
“We are continuing our combing operation. I would request the people not to be afraid of the Maoists and cooperate with the police,” said Satyajit Nayak, SP of Gajapati.
“We are intensifying our combing operations around Niyamgiri hills by District Police, CRPF, DVF, BSF and DVF jawans. We have also set up many check points inside the town and are closely monitoring the movement of vehicles,” said K. Siva Subramani, SP of Rayagada.
Security forces gave been on their toes after the secertary of Malkangiri-Visakhapatna-Koraput division committee of CPI (Maoist) Venu urged government employees, business establishments and students to observe a bandh across the division on July 6 and July 7 to voice their disapproval of fake encounters, atrocities, arrests, harassments as well as fake surrenders conducted by the police.
“The cops are indulging in fake exchange of fire, committing atrocities against women, looting the property of villagers and making illegal arrests. A few weeks into the arrest, the tribal villagers are being branded as Maoists who have surrendered and they are being forced to issue statements against Maoists,” said Venu in a press realease.
“I don’t expect the call for bandh to have much effect. We have started conducting regular area domination and specific intelligence based operations by district police force in cooperation with DVF and central armed forces. I call upon the Maoists to leave the path of violence and join the mainstream of the society. We will help them in all possible ways as provided by law. There is no point torturing innocent tribals in the name of Maoism and protest week,” said SDPO of Malkangiri Sandeep Madkar.