ROURKELA: Even as Maoists menace in the bordering pockets of the district has subsided considerably due to sustained pressure by Jharkhand police, the threat of criminal outfit People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) looms large.
According to sources, PLFI is seeking to expand its base by fanning out to new areas of Saranda forest in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand.
A senior police official said Maoist activities, originating from Saranda in West Singhbhum, have been curbed to a great extent over the last two years due to massive deployment of Jharkhand security forces. This has resulted in a peaceful atmosphere prevailing in the disturbed border stretch of around 75 km from Bisra police jurisdiction to Topadihi under Koida police limits in Sundargarh, he said.
However, PLFI’s successful foray into Saranda would again cast a shadow of fear from Bisra to Topadihi.
Currently, West Singhbhum police are engaged in hot pursuit of Maoists and considering PLFI as a secondary threat. While six Maoists were arrested by West Singhbhum police on Friday, top Saranda-based leader Prasadji has already been nabbed and another hardcore Maoist, Suniel Hongoda, surrendered a few days back.
On the other hand, three PLFI members shot dead a special police officer, Nicolus Deuri, at Bandhgaon village of West Singhbhum in broad daylight on Friday. Compared to Maoists, the PLFI poses a bigger threat to civilians as members of the banned outfit have formed into small groups and are indulging in extortion.
Jharkhand’s Kolhan range DIG, Md Nehal, said they are taking strong measures to contain Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) and several Maoists and PLFI members have been arrested recently. Jharkhand’s Simdega SP Aseem Bikrant Minz said PLFI is the second largest outfit after Maoists in Jharkhand and efforts are underway to contain the outfit.
The Simdega district, which shares about 175 km border stretch with Sundargarh from Nugaon block to Talsara, is infested by PLFI. Recently, a rural trader was beheaded by PLFI members on August 1 at Majhapada under Raiboga police limits in Sundargarh. IGP (Western range), RK Sharma, said they are working in coordination with West Singhbhum and Simdega police to contain PLFI menace.