Life paralysed as Maoists observe ''Martyrs Week'' in Orissa

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Jeypore, Aug 2 (UNI) Life was paralysed in Bandhugam and Narayanpatna blocks of Koraput district, bordering Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, for the first time, as Maoists observed ''Martyrs Week'' in the entire tribal belt.

As a result, several senior district-level officials were reluctant to visit the two sensitive blocks to distribute rice at Rs two per kg under a scheme launched in Orissa for the benefit of poor.

Despite the tall claims of the police, the Maoists and their supporters were seen running a parallel adminsitration during the week since July 28, bringing the activities of the government officials and people to a halt.

Hundreds of anti-government banners and posters were appearing daily on the roads and frequent meetings were reportedly organised in the interior pockets by the Maoist cadres.

What baffaled the locals was the temporary tombs set up by hundreds of Maoists in memory of their associates killed during encounter with the police, despite the presence of over two thousand strong state-armed and central forces.

Sources said that after the land mine blast, which recently killed 17 security personnel in Malkangiri, no one, including top police officers of the district, was willing to gear up movement without proper inputs.

However, police sources informed that patrolling had been intesified, apart from deploying a special squad to anticipate land mines on the roads.

Koraput police SP Deepak Kumar said the police was on high alert and it was taking careful movements in the Maoist-affected areas during the week.

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