BHUBANESWAR: With hours to go before the Republic Day, security measures were heightened across Odisha on Sunday given the probable terror attack threat and Maoist bandh call which has put the State on high alert.
All major defence installations in Balasore, Bhadrak and Ganjam, important establishments such as Paradip Port in Jagatsinghpur and religious shrines in Puri and Khurda came under augmented surveillance. Security was beefed up at the Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri.
The National Highways and Paradip Expressway witnessed intensive patrolling and vehicle verification by the police to screen suspicious elements.
In the State Capital, a security ring was thrown around Mahatma Gandhi Marg, the venue for the R-Day parade. At least six CCTV cameras will keep a watch on the crowd while Governor SC Jamir inspects the parade. Door-framed metal detectors have been installed in sectors close to the main podium.
Counter Terrorist Force of the Special Operations Group and Quick Reaction Teams have been placed in the venue which was being sanitised continuously. Rooftop domination and tree-top surveillance was kept while anti-sabotage checks were continuously being conducted. At least 30 platoons of police force have been pressed in to keep an eye on the R-Day event. A similar arrangement has also been made at Cuttack where Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik would inspect the parade.
"We have not received any further inputs on terror threat but our alertness will remain high," Police Commissioner Dr RP Sharma said.
The terror threat was not the only concern for the State Police as the Left Wing Extremists called for bandh on the R-Day. Southern, western and interior districts saw security measures beefed up at strategic places while anti-Naxal operations were carried out at several places.
In Ganjam's Sorada, a joint team of Ganjam Police and Central Reserve Police Force unearthed a huge cache of arms and ammunition from Adipankha ahead of the R-Day. DIG of Southern Range Amitabh Thakur said at least three SLR rifles, 19 magazines of Insas and nine magazines of SLR besides 793 live ammunition were found buried in forest late on Saturday night.
The security forces kept a close watch on the movements of Maoists in Rayagada, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Kalahandi and Malkangiri districts. The areas bordering to Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand saw area domination exercise by the security forces.
Similarly in Angul, which is home to industrial and power installations such as Nalco and NTPC, the police enhanced its watch. Combing operations were being carried out in Pallahara while security around the industrial installations have been enhanced along with regular blockades and checking, SP Rajesh Pandit said.