BERHAMPUR: In what could set alarm bells ringing for police, the Maoists have intensified their activities in as many as 20 villages under Kolnara, Ramnaguda and Rayagada blocks in Rayagada district and some areas of neighbouring Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh.
The Left Wing Extremists have made these dense forest and hilly areas their strongholds and are increasing their presence in the region.
Sources said top cadres of Vamsadhara-Ghumusar-Nagabali division and Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of the Maoists are camping in the areas and trying to strengthen their base in Wardha, Pandaratola, Kinarimeda and Baimada.
“Some Maoists had come to our village at 1.30 am on Thursday last week and asked for food. A few of us gave them food out of fear while some refused,” said a villager.
Locals claimed they have witnessed Maoist movement in inaccessible areas of Pipalguda, Sandhubadi, Mukundapur and Mirabali within Sesakhala police station. Police have no access to these remote areas.
“We spotted eight Maoists armed with guns in the area on Wednesday night last week. Since then, we are living in constant fear,” said another villager.
Seven years ago, jawans of the Greyhound and Special Operation Group (SOG) of Andhra Pradesh had launched combing operation in the forests bordering Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and Left-Wing Extremists were killed during a gun battle with the security forces.
During 2004 General Elections, Maoists had shot dead a jawan of Andhra Pradesh security force near Pipalguda after mistaking him as a polling party member.
Subsequently, security forces intensified combing operations which led to total routing of Vamsadhara-Ghumusar-Nagabali division from the region.
Later, the division shifted its base to Chandrapur and Muniguda on Kandhamal-Gajapati border, Kasipur, Kalyansinghpur and Niyamgiri in Bisamkatak block.
Police had traced Maoist camps in Karkamarka forest in Ambadala after Rinki, a leader of Vamsadhara-Ghumusar-Nagabali division, surrendered recently. Rayagada SP Sarvana Vivek said, “We have launched search operation in many areas after observing movement of Maoists.”