BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Left Wing Extremists called for bandh in four States on November 4 protesting the October 24 encounter, the proposed visit of Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to Malkangiri to take stock of Japanese Encephalitis outbreak remained under cloud in view of security threat.
While there were unconfirmed reports that Pradhan has been advised not to visit the district during the sensitive time, police said there was no communication on the matter. The State BJP office was also in dark and said it had no confirmation if the visit has been put on hold.
Pradhan was supposed to reach Malkangiri from Visakhapatnam and visit some of the JE-affected areas in Kalimela block of Malkangiri which is a sensitive area in view of Maoist threat.
However, Malkangiri SP Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said the district police has no official communication on the matter. ''I have heard about it from the media only,'' he said.
While Collector K Sudarshan Chakravarty was not available for comment, State Police sources said any advisory on the Minister's visit to Malkangiri would have to come from the district administration's end because the arrangements have to be made basing on the situation at the ground.
''The bandh apart, the current situation in the district where intense combing operation is underway was not favourable for a Union Minister's visit. While security of the Minister is of paramount importance, such a visit would require diversion of security forces from the ongoing operations,'' sources added.