Friday, May 08, 2009

Top Maoist leader in police net

Siba MohantyFirst Published : 08 May 2009 03:06:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 08 May 2009 08:42:41 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: Bhaskar, the man who led a series of Naxalite attacks in Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) during March and April, has been caught in Keonjhar. Originally Pravakar Patra, Bhaskar is a member of Kalinga Nagar Area Committee (KNAC) of CPI (Maoist) and responsible for the growing Maoist activities in Jajpur, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal and some parts of Mayurbhanj districts.c

With Ashutosh and commander of Bansadhara Dalam Uday in the net, the arrest of Bhaskar has come as a major boost to the police in the anti-Naxalite operation.

Reliable sources said, Bhaskar orchestrated the series of attacks in STR. The radicals had blown up a number of forest offices and communication facilities in the tigerland, robbed tourists and even targeted elephants engaged in anti-poaching operations.

Such was the terror spread by the Naxalites over a period of three weeks in the national park that it was closed for tourists and central paramilitary forces along with Special Operation Group units had to be deployed.

‘‘Bhaskar had mobilised armed platoons from Kalinga Nagar to carry out the series of attacks. That he was active in Harichandanpur, Daitari, Ghasipura areas of Keonjhar and bordering Mayurbhanj, it helped him in his activities,’’ sources said. He was also wanted in the recent murder at Keshaduarapal in border areas of Keonjhar and Jajpur. In fact, the successful operation against Ashutosh (in Sundargarh) and Uday (in Rayagada) contributed to a fairly peaceful election in the Naxal-infested southern and northern districts. While neighbouring Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar experienced a spurt in Naxal violence during elections resulting in deaths of security and poll personnel, Orissa managed it without any loss of life.

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