SAMBALPUR: The arrest of State secretary of banned CPI (Maoist) Prasanna Pal alias Jaggu and zonal commander of Sambalpur-Deogarh-Sundargarh Ranjan Rout alias Robin in Jagatsinghpur has once again confirmed the strong base the Naxals have in the coastal district.
The presence of Maoists in Jagatsinghpur district in not new and dates back to 2003 when Maoist literature was seized by the then Sundargarh SP and now DIG (North-Central) Y K Jethwa. Even top Maoist leader Sushil Da, who was arrested by West Bengal police, had visited Jagatsinghpur.
Reports of many youths of Jagatsinghpur working in the Local Regular Guerilla Squad (LRGS) and operating in the districts of Sundargarh, Sambalpur and Deogarh have also been received.
With the CPI (Maoist) known to be following the LTTE model of setup, it is believed that the preference of the district could be associated with the Naxals attempting to hit the waterways to take their movement forward. Moreover, it will also help them smuggle arms and ammunition without much surveillance.
Admitting this fact an expert in Naxal studies said it has been quite sometime now that Naxals in the border area of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattishgarh have been using inflatable boats. Even after the Alampakka incident, they fled to Janbai from where they managed slip into a safe territory using a boat.
Informing that recently Malkangiri police seized a motor which was attached to an inflatable boat, he said Malkangiri is separated from Andhra by Sileru river and from Chhattisgarh by Saberi river.
Besides Sileru and Saberi, there is another inter-state river - Mahendratanaya - between Orissa and Andhra. Operationally this is the area where Naxals now have raised a boat wing to facilitate faster movement of cadres.