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High alert in Odisha after reports of Maoists planning jailbreak

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 13:

The Odisha government has sounded a high alert in the Maoist-prone districts following reports by the Intelligence Bureau that the red rebels plan to attack some of major establishments in the state, including jails.

file pic
file pic

Apart from Odisha, nine other Maoist-prone states have also sounded high alert as per the intelligence inputs.

It may be mentioned that the Union Cabinet, in a meeting in New Delhi on Saturday had discussed the death of seven Special Task Force (STF) personnel during an encounter with the Naxals in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh in the afternoon.

The meeting discussed the reports by the Intelligence Bureau that the CPI-Maoist outfit has launched a new Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign (TCOC) since March last week which would continue for 2-3 months. During the period, the Maoists have planned to release their comrades from the jail.

On the basis of the report, the Centre later alerted 10 Maoist prone states including Odisha. Acting on the directive, the Odisha government has intensified security in Brahmpur Jail and Jharpada Jail.

While top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda is currently lodged at Brahmapur jail, eight others including another top leader Azad are now in Jharpada jail in Bhubaneswar. The IB report has also warned that there is a possibility that the Maoists from the neighbouring Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh might launch an attack after sneaking into the state through the bordering districts of Sundargarh, Nuapada, Rayagada and Kandhamal districts.

It may be mentioned that the red rebels had attacked Koraput Jail in 2004, R Udayagiri Jail in 2006 and Nayagarh Jail and the ordnance unit in the district headquarters in 2008.

Twin City police commissioner Dr RP Sharma said security in the twin city of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack has been intensified further following the IB report.

“Apart from 24-hour patrolling in these two cities, police have been checking vehicles at several vantage points. While the plain-clothed policemen are deployed at sensitive places, all hotels, lodging and slums are kept under close watch,” he added.