Tuesday, July 29, 2008

High alert in red-hit states

July 28: Police in rebel-hit regions of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa sounded high alert today in all Naxalite-affected districts as the Martyrs’ Week began.

The week is observed every year on the death anniversary of Charu Majumdar. It is in its 36th year.

Forces in Malkangiri, Rayagada, Gajapati, Koraput, Rourkela, Keonjhar, Sundargarh and Sambalpur intensified operations besides tearing off scores of hand-written posters and banners that reportedly called for peoples participation on the occasion.

Also search operations were started in Motu, Chitrakonda, Balimela and Kalimela regions of Orissa.

Railway traffic was held up at places in Bastar division bordering Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa.

“We are trying to explain to the people that Martyrs’ Week is not the same as a bandh,” said the superintendent of Malkangiri S.K. Gajbhiye.

The observations are likely to conclude with a meeting to be attended by top red leaders from Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

“Apart from regular operations, security has been tightened across border districts. We have deployed additional forces in Malkangiri,” said deputy inspector general of police (southwestern range) Sanjeeb Panda.

Sarpanch killed

Naxalites killed a former village head in Mainpur of on the Chhattisgarh-Orissa border, accusing him of working as a police informer, Chhattisgarh police said today.

“Niram Singh Dhruv was tied to an electricity pole at Amagaon, some 225km from Raipur and was shot on the chest,” said a source in Mainpur police station today.

The 55-year-old tribal, a former head of Amagaon panchayat, was killed on the spot, said son Ashok in his police complaint.

A prominent Naxalite commander Gopanna was caught at Dhruv’s house on May 4 last year. The Naxalites had subsequently accused Dhruv of informing police of Gopanna’s presence. “But Dhruv was not our informer,” said Raipur superintendent of police Amit Kumar.

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