Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Maoists spread their base in western Orissa

16 Jun 2009, 2054 hrs IST, Nageshwar Patnaik , ET Bureau

BHUBANESWAR: Maoists seem to be spreading their sphere of influence like never before. In a daring encounter, they on Monday gunned down Narasingh
Mahakud (54), a police officer in the rank of a Sub-Inspector (SI), died in the Gariakhaman forest under Kisinda police station in Sambalpur district and injuring two cops.

The forest had been witnessing violent clashes between the extremist outfit and the police since Sunday, involving the Special Operations Group (SOG) and the CRPF. The chilling incident has come in the wake of the red rebels killing a person in Mayurbhanj district, branding him as a police informer, and pro-Maoist adivasis occupying farm lands of non-tribals in Narayanpatna area in the southern district of Koraput on Monday.

In recent times they have let loose a reign of terror attacking and killing policemen. "The tensed Jharkhand means trouble for Orissa. Red radicals normally sneak into neighbouring state of Jharakhand after every major attacks and take shelter there. Since the Jujumora forest is dense and almost stretches to Jharkhand border, the rebels find it have found a safe haven there," the police official said.

Ironically, the police had all along been claiming that the rebels had been driven out of the western district of Sambalpur and their presence can be counted on fingers. To substantiate their arguments, they claimed that for years, the area was incident-free. But to their shock, now the police officials have discovered that the extremists quietly had built their network and now even are ready to take on the armed police head on.

The killing of Mahakud, a popular talented police officer who had been awarded President’s medal and many other medals at the State level for his outstanding performances in the department, would demoralize the police force. “Senior officers are sending us to fight the well-equipped ultras. We are made sacrificial lambs”, complained a junior level police officer.

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