Maoist attacks spreading fear among Orissa locals

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Gajapati (Orissa), Mar 28 (ANI): Locals of Orrisa's Gajapati district are living under constant fear due to the frequent gun battles between Maoists and police personnel. Recently, three personnel of the Special Operations Group were killed in a Maoist attack in Orissa.

The incident took place when a group of 30 policemen had gone to raid a Maoist camp near the Ambajhiri Forests in Gajapati District.

Residents complain that earlier attacks and encounters took place in remote areas of the forests, but this time the encounter took place within 10 kilometres of Gajapati due to which the locals are quite apprehensive about their security.

" The locals are very scared due to the incident and subsequent checking happening in the town. They can't move out of their houses due to the fear of being attacked," said Pradyumna Bebarta, a resident.

Security was beefed up in the town and police officials have been deployed at important places like banks, offices and schools.

"We have tightened our armed forces and blocking arrangements to protect the entire region. We have deployed the security forces in the important places like offices in the town," said D P Chakraborty, Inspector In-Charge.

Earlier this week, the Maoists had called for a 48-hour shutdown in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, and three districts of aharashtra, protesting against the Union Government's operation.

The Maoist rebels had on February 22 offered a conditional 72-day ceasefire through the media, and said they are willing to talk to the government if it aborts Operation Green Hunt. Many believe the truce offer is a ruse to regroup.

The Maoists contend they are fighting for the rights of the poor, marginal farmers and the landless labourers. (ANI)

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