BHUBANESWAR: With hours to go before the CPI (Maoist) observes a day-long bandh over the Malkangiri encounter, security measures were beefed up across the bordering districts of the State on Wednesday.
SPs in the undivided Koraput district were on alert while security forces were asked to follow the standard operating procedures. Combing operations are being conducted not to allow the extremists to target public utilities and establishments.
In the Kandhamal-Balangir-Nuapada belt too, the District Police and security forces have been put on alert.
Since this is the first bandh call in protest against the October 24 encounter in which 30 Maoists were gunned down, the security forces are on their toes.
''We are also in contact with our counterparts in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand so as to make a coordinated effort not to allow the rebels to make any statement which they would attempt to,'' sources in the State Police said.The East Coast Railway was also on the watch since Maoists are known to target train operations.
An official spokesperson said the Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force are in touch with the State Police for security coordination.
The OSRTC has decided to stop bus operations in LWE-hit areas as a preventive measure.
Even as the Red rebels prepared for the bandh, the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) claimed that top Maoist Ramakrishna was in custody of AP Police and demanded his immediate production before a court.
The AP Government and its police force must comply with the October 31 orders passed by AP High Court to immediately produce before court Akkiraju Hargopal, also known as RK, Gaajarla Ravi and nine others who are supposed to be in the custody of the security forces since October 24. This must be done to ensure their personal safety, life and well being, a PUCL memorandum stated.
Demanding a judicial inquiry by a sitting Supreme Court or High Court judge into the encounter to unravel the truth, the civil liberties group said an FIR should be registered in connection with the case. Names of all security personnel involved in the killings must be provided, as required by the SC judgment in a PUCL case, it added.