SAMBALPUR: The Maoists are ‘back’ in Gariakhama forest to claim their stronghold. The Sambalpur Police which were breathing easy after a lull in Maoist activities are now back on their heels.
Confirmed reports said a group of about 10 to 12 Maoists, possibly chosen selectively from among the outfits in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh have already launched their activities.
They are trying to identify the people’s militia which had helped their cohorts, earlier, to get a foothold in the region which is connected with Deogarh and Sundargarh and onwards to the dense Saranda forest along the border in Jharkhand.
There are reports of their return for the first time after the Naxal mayhem in Nayagarh. Although the police have successfully won over the Naxals and are adopting proactive steps, but being tough nuts, the Naxals can still spring a surprise. If the banned outfit manages to find its foothold again it would be a big challenge for the police.
Sambalpur SP Sanjay Kumar confirmed the presence but denied that police had become complacent after some raids. The police are there to trace the Maoists from their hideouts and measures have been intensified.
Social programmes like interaction with villagers are also in progress to strengthen the police rapport with people, he added