Malkangiri, Dec 12:
A group of armed Maoists abducted seven villagers, including a ward member, in Malkangiri district on Thursday suspecting them to be police informers, sources said.
The seven abducted villagers belong to Ramaguda and Chintalaguda villages under Kalimela police limits.
According to reports, more than 100 Maoists and supporters arrived at Bhejanwada panchayat at 3 am on Thursday and took away seven villagers including Tulsi Behera, ward member of Chintalaguda village with them.
The six other abducted villagers of Ramaguda village are, Rama Behera, Deba Padiami, Udra Padiami, Udra Podi, Subas Khara and Jaga Padiami.
It may be mentioned that left wing ultras had earlier warned the villagers not to cooperate with the BSF personnel, who have set up their camp in the area.
Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Akhileswar Singh said Maoists have lost their grip on the people due to the setting up of a Border Security Force (BSF) camp in the area. Besides, massive combing operations in the region have raised the confidence of the residents.
The rebels are frustrated because people are not cooperating. Maoists abducted the villagers out of frustration, he said. A search operation has been launched to locate the villagers, he said.