Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Malkangiri, Apr 25:
A day after 300-400 heavily armed Maoists ambushed a CRPF contingent killing 25 troopers in Chhattisgarh, high alert was sounded in Malkangiri district and Odisha border was sealed.
Malkangiri District Superintendent of Police (SP) Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said while they have sounded high alert in the border area, the whole district has been put on extra vigil and monitoring has been stepped up at all the entry and exit points in the bordering areas.
Besides, instructions have also been issued to the police officers and the combing police parties to coordinate with their counterparts in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh.
“Our borders have been sealed. We would not allow anybody to intrude into our area,” said Director General of Police (DGP) K.B. Singh.
“A joint combing operation has been launched by our anti-Maoist Special Operation Group (SOG) and District Voluntary Force (DVF) in close coordination with the CRPF and BSF forces to flush out the red rebels,” the DGP said.
Singh said there was a possibility of Maoists seeking to take shelter in Odisha as Maharashtra has already sealed its borders with Chhattisgarh.
“The spot of occurrence is far away from our border, close to Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli. However, we are on high alert,” Singh added.
Notably, the red rebels had yesterday ambushed the security personnel in a forested patch in Chhattisgarh killing 25 of them and escaping with their AK-47 assault rifles.
The dead included an Inspector, a Sub-Inspector, three Assistant Sub-Inspectors, six Head Constables and 14 Constables.
The 99-member CRPF patrol was on foot on the interior road, providing security to road construction activity, when it came under sudden attack.
The CRPF said the ambush began at 12.30 p.m. Troopers who survived the horror said the attackers used hand grenades, automatic rifles and rocket launchers as they launched the attack “from all sides”.
“The troopers replied in a befitting manner but taking geographical position to their advantage, the Maoists succeeded in inflicting loss to the CRPF,” a CRPF statement said. “A considerable number of Maoists are believed to have been eliminated.”
One account said local tribes passed on vital real-time inputs on the movement of CRPF men to the Maoists.
(With IANS inputs)