BHUBANESWAR: In a shot in the arm for State Government fighting Maoists, the Centre on Friday sanctioned another battalion of the Border Security Force (BSF).
This would take the BSF strength in the State to six battalions. The new unit will be deployed in Nabarangpur district where the Left-wing extremists last year gunned down the then Umerkote MLA Jagabandhu Majhi.
The BSF, of late, had expressed its interest to augment its strength in the State. At present, the five battalions of BSF are deployed in anti-Maoist operations in Malkangiri and Koraput districts. Another seven battalions of CRPF are positioned in the State too.
The additional sanction was made just before the State goes for the three-tier panchayat polls next month.
Since the CPI (Maoist) has already given a call to the people to boycott the polls and put up posters targeting political parties, the Government had requested sanctioning of more forces so that the election could be conducted smoothly.
Meanwhile, the security forces on Friday ran down a Maoist camp in Malkangiri district and recovered explosive substances used for manufacturing landmines. The seized materials included 11-kg powder used for making landmines or claymore mines, 25 gelatin sticks, 10 pieces of electronic detonators, 200 metres of wire, a large number of fatigues, utensils and Maoist literature.
A joint team of BSF, Special Operation Group (SOG) and District Voluntary Force conducted a combing operation and raided the Maoist camp in Niliguda forests under Padia area, IG (Operation) YB Khurania said.
Since the Red rebels had got wind of the combing operation well in advance, they had fled the camp by the time the security forces arrived. A year back, Maoists had blown up the local police outpost at Padia and the Government recently upgraded it into a full-fledged police station.