MALKANGIRI: Movement of vehicular traffic in the district came to a halt with the beginning of Maoists’ Martyr Week on Monday. The Red ultras observe the week from July 28 to August 3 every year to pay tribute to their leaders and cadres who lost their lives.
The OSRTC stopped plying its buses from Malkangiri to other districts apprehending Maoist attack. Normal life was hit in rural pockets as passenger buses and other vehicles stopped plying at many places fearing trouble, police said, adding that shops and business establishments also remained closed in areas like Kalimela, Padia and Motu.
How=ever, there was no report of road blockade from any part of the district. The Maoists put up posters in Kalimela, Motu, MV 79, Podia and Gompakonda areas protesting the Silakota police encounter in which their 13 cadres were killed on September 15 last year.
Although Government offices remained open, there was thin attendance. People preferred to remain indoors.
Security Beefed up
In other Maoist-hit South Odisha districts like Koraput, Rayagada, Ganjam, Kandhamal, Nabarangpur and Gajapati, the situation was normal amid tight security measures. Even though chief of Odisha Maobadi Party Sabyasachi Panda was arrested by police recently, security has been beefed up in the region suspecting that his supporters may resort to violent activities.
“We have tightened security with deployment of additional forces in sensitive areas and anti-Maoist operation has been intensified in the region,” said DIG (southern range) Amitabh Thakur.
Special Operation Group (SOG), Central Reserve Police Forces (CRPF), India Reserve Battalion (IRB), District Voluntary Forces (DVF) and Special Police Officers (SPO) have been deployed to maintain law and order in Maoist-affected areas of these districts.
Police patrolling and checking of long-route vehicles were intensified in Daringibadi, Kotagarh and Bramhanigaon, the Maoist-affected areas in Kandhamal district.
Similar measures were also taken in Gajapati district. “We have alerted the forces. Besides, regular checking of the vehicles and blocking in the border areas are continuing,” said Gajapati SP CS Meena.
(With PTI inputs)