Berhampur (Odisha), Jan 11: A landmine, suspected to have been planted by Maoists around five years ago, was recovered from a forest beat house at Paniganda village in Odisha's Gajapati district, a police official said today.
"We suspect that the landmine may have been planted by Maoists about five years ago," Superintendent of Police (Gajapati), Satyajit Naik said. A bomb disposal squad from Paralakhemundi rushed to the spot and defused the old landmine after it was recovered yesterday.
"Combing operation was intensified in the area and a search operation was launched following recovery of the landmine. We have also alerted the police to keep a watch on any suspicious movement," the SP said.
"Forest staff informed the police about the landmine, after they detected a wire on the ground," said divisional forest officer, Paralakhemundi, R K Singh.
Of late, Maoist activities have declined in the village following several anti-Maoist measures and arrest of several top leaders, including Sabyasachi Panda.
However, people are worried following the recovery of the landmine from the forest beat house, said a businessman at Adava. Paniganda and its adjoining areas had witnessed violent activities of Maoists about six years ago.
The ultras had blown up the forest beat house at Paniganda by triggering landmine blast on July 10, 2009, while they had burnt down another forest beat house at Katinga in Kandhamal-Gajapati border on July 18, 2009.
Maoists had also burnt at least four buses of state-owned Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) at Raipanka on December 28, 2009 under Adava police station limit.