MALKANGIRI: A tribal village head was killed and his wife critically injured in an explosion triggered by Maoists in Kalimela in Malkangiri district on Tuesday morning.
The village head of Darbaguda in Kalimela area, Bira Padiami (50), was returning home with wife from a nearby forest, where they had gone to graze their cattle, when the explosive device planted by Maoists on the road went off, Malkangiri SP Akhileswar Singh said.
While Bira died in the blast, his injured wife was admitted to the nearby hospital by the villagers. Police said the Maoists were believed to have planted the explosive, probably a pressure bomb, targeting the security personnel as a BSF camp is located near the site.
If intelligence inputs are to be believed, top Maoists from Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are camping in the bordering areas and organising meetings in the tribal villages.
Condemning the killing of innocent tribals, the SP said combing operation has been stepped up in the area where security had already been tightened as the Maoists’ Martyr Week began on Monday.
Maoists observe Martyrs’ Week from July 28 to August 3 every year to pay tributes to their leaders and cadres who lost their lives.
Normal life was affected to some extent in rural pockets of Malkangiri district as passenger buses and other vehicles stopped plying on the route from Monday at many places fearing trouble.
Shops and business establishments also remained closed in areas like Kalimela, Padia and Motu.
In Koraput, Rayagada, Ganjam, Kandhamal, Nabarangpur and Gajapati, the situation was normal amid tight security measures, police added.