Maoists in Orissa pose threat to general polls

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Malkangiri (Orissa), Apr 15 (ANI): While extremists are functioning underground in many areas of the country, a faction of Maoists are operating openly in Orissa.

Reports of such a camp have posed a serious threat to the ensuing elections to the Lok Sabha in the state.

The Maoist movement has gradually spread over Malkangiri, Koraput, Raigarh,ajpati, Kandhmal and Sundargarh regions of Orissa.

These ultra communists run their training camps in the forests skirting the borders of Orissa and Chattisgarh.

Election officials in Orissa have admitted the presence of Maoists and say that the polls will be conducted with ample security.

"It is a fact that Naxal problem is growing in Orissa. These things happen in such a way that we cannot be hundred per cent confident or hundred per cent satisfied. With the given resources, we have made arrangements to the best of our capability," said Alka Panda, State Electoral Officer,rissa.

She said that more of Central para-military personnel are expected to be deployed in Malkangiri and Kandhmal districts of Orissa considering these areas are sensitive and also vulnerable to attack by the Maoists.

"In addition helicopters would be deployed and due attention will be paid to the districts considered vulnerable," added Alka Panda.

The Maoists are active across a huge swathe of India, particularly in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. They are also active in some areas of Orissa, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Maoist rebels contend that their crusade is for the rights of poor and marginal farmers as well as the landless labourers. Frequently, they target police personnel and government establishments.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had described Maoists as the single biggest threat to the country's internal security. By Sharda Lahangir (ANI)

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