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Security beefed up in Maoist-hit areas of south Odisha


Press Trust of India Bhubaneswar
Security has been tightened in Maoist-hit districts in south Odisha and state-run buses have stopped plying in the region in view of "martyrs' week", being observed by Maoists.
The Odisha-Chhattisgarh border in Malkangiri district has been sealed and all police stations in Rayagada district have been put on high alert, senior police officers said on Monday.
As a precautionary measure, the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) has suspended its bus services in south Odisha districts for a week since Sunday, an official of the OSRTC said.
Buses operating in around 40 routes in the southern districts including Koraput, Malkangiri and Rayagada have been stopped as Maoists began their martyrs' week from Sunday till August 3, he said.
Buses travelling to these districts from Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and Bhanjanagar will remain suspended till August 3, Additional Transport Manager (ATM) of OSRTC in Malkangiri, Gagan Bihari Senapati said.
Martyrs' week is observed by the banned CPI (Maoist) from July 28 to August 3 every year, in memory of their leader Charu Majumdar, who died on July 27, 1972 in West Bengal.
The OSRTC buses remained off the roads in Narayanpatna, Bandhugaon, Lamataput areas of Koraput district and Gudari, Chandrapur and Muniguda areas in Rayagada districts as a precaution, police said.
However, private bus operators continued to run their buses in these districts.
Business establishments remained open in urban areas of the Maoist-hit districts where normal life remained unaffected, the police said.
However, commercial activities were affected in some interior pockets including Kalimela, Bhenjagwada, Motu and Chitrakonda in Malkangiri district, with shops and markets remaining closed.
No untoward incident has been reported from any place. All police stations have been put on high alert, said DIG of Police (south-western range), Himanshu Lal.
Though, public transport system has been affected in certain pockets in the region, all other activities remain normal, he said.
In Malkangiri, the police has tightened security across the district, intensified combing and patrolling and sealed the borders with Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, said Superintendent of Police Jagmohan Meena.
Similar steps were taken in Rayagada district too.
All precautionary measures have been taken to deal with any eventuality. A high alert has been sounded in all police stations, said Rayagada SP, Saravana Vivek M.
The DIG said that security personnel belonging to the Odisha police, SOG, BSF and CRPF have been deployed at vulnerable places and vehicles are being frisked.

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First Published: Jul 29 2019 | 12:00 PM IST

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