RAIPUR: In what could set alarm bells ringing for police in Chhattisgarh, particularly in Bastar, the Maoists are reportedly planning to intensify activities during the forthcoming "martyrdom week" when they pay tributes to their slain leaders.
The ultras for the first time this season put up pamphlets, banners and flags yesterday, appealing to people to observe Maoist week - from July 28 to August 3 - in Saraipali region of Mahasamund district (adjoining Odisha) where Naxal activities have not been reported since a long time.
"We are well aware of the situation and prepared to thwart the violent design (during Maoist week) of ultras," Additional Director General of Police (anti-Naxal operations) RK Vij told PTI.
Some pamphlets and banners were recovered near Saraipali (on Raipur-Odisha road) and investigation was on this connection, Vij said.
A senior state police official said cases of abduction of police jawans, informers and villagers have also increased in Bastar and adjoining places like Malkangiri (Odisha) and Telangana, giving an indication of the designs of Naxals ahead of the week-long celebrations.
"Security forces generally wait for monsoon as Maoists scale down their activities in the rainy season, but this time it appears rains too have not affected their activities. Security forces have stepped up their operation inside dense forests, defying flooding rivers and rivulets," the official told PTI on condition of anonymity.
With the latest Maoist offensive claiming lives of four assistant constables who were abducted in Bijapur, the security forces have been alerted to be extra cautious during operations and even on personnel visits, he said.
"The police jawans and officials have been asked to avoid roaming alone in the region," he said.
Notably, the assistant constables, recruited as auxiliary personnel, and police informers play an instrumental role in carrying out surgical operations at separate places in Bastar last month, leading to the killing of seven cadres and arrest of many others.
According to official statistics, as many as 11 police informers were killed till April this year in Chhattisgarh, which is highest number of killing of informers recorded in any state of the country.
Although the ultras' strength and base drastically weakened in the past one year, yet the security forces should not take the situation lightly during Maoist week, said Professor Girishkant Pandey, Head, Department of Defence Studies in Government Science College here.
During the martyrdom week, the ultras focus on recruiting heads in their military wing and conducting training in core forests, but keeping in view the situation of enhanced security operations they may alter their strategy, Pandey cautioned.