Koraput/Rayagada: The state government and the police machinery have tightened security and sounded high alert in Naxal-affected areas of undivided Koraput to avoid any untoward incident during the ‘Shahid Saptah’ (martyrs’ week) to be observed by Maoists till August 3.
The effect of the martyrs’ week which started Sunday was partially felt in undivided Koraput while it was lukewarm in the district headquarters of Koraput.
Vehicles stayed off the roads at Ampabali, A Golur, Tala Golur, in Pottangi block, Padua, Atanda, in Nandapur block, Ankadeli, Jalaput, Macchkund in Lamtaput block and in some areas of Boipariguda block of Koraput district while business was as usual in these areas.
As a precautionary measure, government buses stayed off roads in Malkangiri and Rayagada on the first day of the martyrs’ week.
Apprehending that the ultras might unleash some major offensives during the martyrs’ week following the gunning down of seven Maoists in Chhattisgarh and killing of five ultras in Kituba jungle under Padua police limits few months back, the Odisha-Chhattisgarh border has been sealed while security has been tightened on Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border.
The BSF, SOG, DVF and COBRA jawans have intensified combing operations in the Naxal-affected undivided Koraput districts, Koraput SP Kanwar Vishal Singh said.
The BSF jawans have also intensified security measures on the route leading to the famous Gupteshwar Shiva shrine in Boipariguda block as thousands of Kanwariyas are travelling on the route daily to offer holy water to the deity in the Hindu month of Shravan.
The Jeypore division of Orissa State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) has suspended passenger bus services on 17 routes. Similarly, some private bus operators have also suspended services to Lamtaput, Ramgiri, Bandhugaon, Narayanpatna blocks of Koraput in view of the martyrs’ week.
The suspension of bus services gave commuters a harrowing time.
Police check posts have been put up at all key entrance points into adjoining Maoist-infested districts. Vehicles are also being thoroughly frisked and police personnel have been asked to check unnecessary movements.
All entry points to Rayagada district have been sealed while police has taken up picketing at strategic points.
More troops comprising SOG and CRPF jawans were rushed into Niyamgiri and Basangmali hills where the Maoists are known to be having their hideouts, Rayagada SP Sarvana Vivek said. Police have also focused on the bordering areas of Kandhamal and Kalahandi districts.
Meanwhile, Maoists have put up posters and banners at different places and urged the people to join the movement.
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