Saturday, August 15, 2009

Anti-Maoist ops peak in Rayagada

TNN 14 August 2009, 05:41am IST

KORAPUT: A day after three women rebels were gunned down in an encounter with policemen, anti-Maoist operations were intensified in Rayagada
district on Thursday.

A joint police team from Orissa and Andhra Pradesh had killed the rebels in a forest near the inter-state border at Mukundpur.

Police said additional forces comprising CRPF, SOG and police personnel from Koraput have been mobilized to foil any possible retaliation by the Maoists and also to restrict the influx of rebels from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh to disrupt Independence Day celebrations.

"Our operation in and around Mukundpur has been continuing since Wednesday. At present, the situation is under control but we can't afford to take a chance. Maoists may try to disrupt Independence Day celebrations on Saturday," SP (Rayagada) Asish Kumar Singh said. "We have also increased security in Gudari and Chandrapur areas bordering Andhra Pradesh to ensure that no Maoist sneaks into Orissa. Police are on high alert to thwart any eventuality," the SP added.

Police on Thursday handed over the bodies of the three dead Maoists to their families after post mortem at a Rayagada hospital. One of them was identified as G Bani, a resident of Rayagada district. The other two, B Subhadra alias Swarna and L Rajaeswari alias Dibya, hailed from Andhra Pradesh. Police said Swarna was the wife of Maoist leader Daya, who is the chief of the Maoist outfit operating along the Orissa-Andhra border.

In another incident, a Maoist leader involved in Balimela reservoir attack was arrested from Malkangiri's Kalimela on Wednesday. The rebel, Somnath Padiami (25), was part of the two major attacks on security personnel in 2008 in which 55 cops, including 36 greyhound jawans from Andhra Pradesh, were killed.

On June 29, 2008, 36 greyhound jawans and two Orissa policemen were killed after the Maoists attacked the boat in which they were travelling near Alampekka inside the Balimela reservoir. The Maoists followed it up by blowing up the mine protection vehicle of Orissa Police at MV 126 on July 16, 2008 killing all 17 policemen inside it.

"Padiami has confessed to his involvement in Alampekka and MV 126 extremists attacks. He was also a member of the squad that looted Rs 99 lakh belonging to the State Bank of India's Chitrakonda branch, earlier this year," superintendent of police (Malkangiri) Satya Brata Bhoi said.

According to police, Padiami was the deputy commander of Kalimela Dalam and was involved in a Maoist attack on a CRPF patrol party in 2007 in which a jawan had succumbed to the rebel attack.

Meanwhile, a few Maoist posters were found at MV 123 on Thursday through which the rebels have demanded release of Padiami. The Red rebels have claimed that Padiami was not a Maoist and threatened an indefinite bandh if he is not released.

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