Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 25:
The district police in Odisha’s Malkangiri are on their toes as the Maoists are observing a dawn-to-dusk bandh in protest against the recent spate of surrenders of Maoist supporters terming it as “fake surrenders”.
The bandh called by CPI (Maoists) of Malkangiri divisional has circulated a letter to media in which its secretary has appealed to the media to oppose ‘fake surrenders’.
Notably, over 700 villagers, said to be Maoist supporters, have surrendered to the district police in the last one month.
The police are purposely making false cases against Maoists and consequently forcing them to self-surrender. The ‘Bandh’ has been called today to protest these deceitful acts of the police. There are no Maoist supporters among those who have surrendered to the police recently. The administration hasn’t provided adequate compensation to those who had surrendered earlier, CPI (Maoists) of Malkangiri divisional secretary Poonam Chandra said in a release issued to media.
Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in the district with deployment of additional security forces at vulnerable points. The security personnel frisked the vehicles and put up check points at various places.
“We have taken adequate security measures to tackle any untoward incident. We have been categorically saying that those who had surrendered are not Maoist supporters… rather they are the victims of Maoists’ tortures. They are coming to us to express their ordeal. Among them, some militia and village committee members are also coming to us. We are facilitating the surrender procedure and providing them surrender benefits. We have distributed about Rs 54 lakh towards surrender benefits during 2014-15 and they have been credited to their accounts. Besides, we have initiated steps for their capacity building as per the rehabilitation policy of the government,” Malkangiri SP Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said.
Maoist posters were spotted at many polices at Kalimela appealing people to lend their support to the bandh call.
In Kalyansinghpur, a Maoist poster threatening death sentence for three persons including vice president of Utkal Alumina S Satyanarayan and two villagers from Sikarpai. The poster asked the top official of the alumina company to appear before praja (people’s) court.
Following the bandh call, the vehicles have opted to stay off roads. The commuters have been finding it difficult to reach at their destination due to the bandh.