Heavy armed forces deployed in Odisha’s Malkangiri after villagers killed Maoist
Malkangiri, Jan 27: The cut-off area in Odisha's Malkangiri district turned into a fortress with a huge deployment of armed forces on Monday, two days after villagers killed a Maoist and left another injured for attacking them for supporting development activities in the region.
The unprecedented security arrangement was put in place to boost the morale of the villagers, who, for the first time, dared to challenge Maoists in their den.
Maoists had threatened the villagers to observe Republic Day as "Black Day", which was rejected by the locals who held the ultras responsible for no development in the area.
The cut-off area under Chitrakonda block of Malkangiri, which is encircled by the Balimela reservoir from three sides and has a dense forest connecting Andhra Pradesh on another side, was considered as a den of Maoists ever since they spread their network in the mid 1990s.
The people in the region earlier used to support the Maoists out of fear, but now they have found the courage to face them due to deployment of forces after the construction of the Gurupriya bridge, Malkangiri Superintendent of Police (SP) RD Khilari said.
Security personnel belonging to the Border Security Force (BSF), Odisha's elite commandos of the SOG (Special Operation Group) and the India Reserve Battalion (IRB) were deployed in large numbers in the four villages of Jodamba, Janturai, Sindibeda and Tikarpada and the combing operation was intensified in the area, a senior police officer said.
Besides the SP, Malkangiri District Collector Manish Agarwal and other senior district-level officers rushed to Janturai village, where a Maoist was killed and another left seriously injured by villagers on Saturday night.
Agarwal said security was beefed up in Jodamba, Janturai, Sindibeda and Tikarpada villages to foil any retaliatory attack by Maoists. The collector also announced that the state government will provide financial assistance to the 10 families of Jodamba, whose houses were damaged by Maoists following the killing of the ultra.
The deceased Maoist was identified as Ganga Madhi of the Kalimela area and the injured as Jipra Hatrika of Narayanpatna. Both were members of the Gumma Area Committee.