Friday December 7 2007 10:38 IST
SAMBALPUR: The Maoists' plan to strike the district armoury of Bargarh was spoiled after a top leader Misir Besra was arrested by Jharkhand police in September, police has revealed.
Besra, a member of the Central Military Commission of the outlawed group had spilled the beans which was communicated to Bargarh police on September 20.
'Operation Bargarh,' as the military intelligence wing named it, was planned meticulously with a threemember team conducting a reconnaissance of the armoury.
The strike would have helped the Maoists strengthen their base.
Police sources said, after scouting the area to assess vulnerability of the armoury, the team learnt that at any given point of time, 300 to 500 weapons could be found stocked in the armoury.
The intelligence wing, headed by Ashutosh, even visited Bargarh in July for a SWOT (strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats) analysis of the armoury's security arrangement though they had begun their groundwork for the assault in May.
The team members, police revealed, had taken shelter on the outskirts of the town with their sympathisers.
While the team members camped at Bargarh, Ashutosh coordinated planning and movement from Deogarh, a stronghold of Naxalites.
However, after Besra spilled the beans, Bargarh police led by SP Sanjib Panda not only scaled down the armoury but also fortified the town with strategic lighting and cleaning operation.
Panda said they are still on alert and two units of Special Operation Group are deployed in Bargarh to provide security to the armoury.
Physical security has also been strengthened, vigil intensified and efforts underway to identify the place where they had taken shelter during their visit to the district.
Zonal Commander nabbed:
Even though Sambalpur police denies arrest of an hardcore Naxalite from Sambalpur Town on Thursday morning, reliable sources confirmed the arrest of Zonal Commander of the banned Maoist outfit, Chotu Turi alias James from a rented house in Jharuapada area of Sambalpur Town.
The police has also reportedly seized mattresses and incriminating documents revealing that the house was being used as a transit camp.
It is believed that proximity of both the states Chattisgarh and Jharkhand from Sambalpur and onward train communication could have led the Maoist to have a camp at Sambalpur town and elude police surveillance.