Maoists spreading network, police worried
Statesman News Service
SAMBALPUR, Aug 13: If the news doing the rounds in Bargarh, a part of the old Sambalpur district is true, then there is every reason to believe that Maoists are spreading their network in this district also. There were rumours earlier that Maoists had launched an effort to capture Barpahar forest region on the bank of Hirakud dam reservoir covering both Sambalpur and Bargarh districts. This would be helpful for them to establish a corridor to Koraput and Kalahandi.
Police was also aware of the matter. They had also detained a Christian pastor from Barpahar forest suspecting him for having Maoist links last year, but later released him after a thorough investigation.
But, Saturday night's incident have shaken both police and public in this district since Maoists entered an explosives godown in Bageibira village under Bargarh police station of the district, overpowered two chowkidars (guards) Mr Udhhab Bhoi (50) and Mr Manglu Seth (65) and instructed them to tell the owner of the godown to pay Rs two lakh, and hand over explosive materials within a week. The Maoists also pasted a poster on the wall of the godown before leaving the place. It is further learnt that the owner of the explosives godown, a resident of Angul district hasn't lodged any FIR. The reason might be that the owner is either afraid of a Maoist backlash, or that he doesn't have a valid licence to run the godown. While junior police officers of the district confirmed the incident, the S P of Bargarh Mr Sanjiv Panda said: "I am going to the spot to verify everything personally since it is a sensitive issue. Things will become clear tonight."
Maoists in Malkangiri district are gearing up to observe the coming Independence Day as 'Black day' throughout the district. Naxal hits are likely to be affected at large.
Posters and banners are seen in Kurmanur, Papulur, Vejangiwade panchayats of Andhra-Orissa border. Maoists are on a whirl-wind tour to Chitrakonda, Kalimela, Motu, MV-79 police station limit villages. The Maoists have decided to hoist black flags on offices and schools protesting against the government that has done nothing for the tribals in last 60 years. Schools in interior villages are reported have been closed in the afternoon onwards. Last Republic Day Maoists had blocked the state highway-25 by feeling trees at village MV-126 and one CRPF jawan was killed while clearing the log.
This time, similar incidents, may not be ruled out. The district SP Mr. Satish Kumar Gajbhaia has personally overseen the arrangements and have tightened the security arrangement.