Report; Bureau, Odishabarta
BANDH CALL BY MAOIST SECURITY HAS BEEN TIGHTENED
BHUBANESWAR/GAJAPATI: A day after extending olive branch to Sabyasachi Panda to surrender, Odisha Police today arrested four of his supporters and claimed that the Maoist leader had sustained injuries during the November 14 encounter while the bandh called by Mao outfits passed off peacefully.
"Besides Panda, two others identified as Nikita and Pradeep have been injured during the encounter. Both Nikita and Panda sustained injuries on hands," said Suresh Chandra Parichha, the sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) of R Udaygiri.
Though five persons were killed in the encounter at the tri-junction of Gajapati-Ganjam-Kandhamal last week, Panda could manage to escape from the place of encounter, the SDPO said adding that police confirmed about the injury of the Maoist leader after interrogating four persons from Bhaliaguda village, adjacent to the encounter place inside the jungle.
Police suspecting the arrested persons are Kalia Mallik, Bulu Mallik, and Jolendra Mallik Surerendra Mallik. The security forces sized one SBML Gun, Handmade pistol, four live magazines, and twenty detonators.
The arrested persons have also informed the police that Pradeep was being treated at some hidden location, Parichha said.
Police also seized two guns, four bullets and detonators from possession of the four persons, the SDPO said adding that they admitted to have witnessed the encounter from close quarters.
Meanwhile, today's Odisha Bandh, the call for which was given by Panda's Odisha Maobadi Party (OMP), evoked little response across the state though certain pockets in southern districts witnessed some disruption in transport system.
OMP's (Odisha Maobadi Party) bandh call surprisingly got support of the CPI (M)'s Bansadhar and Ghumusar divisions. The CPI (M), however, gave a bandh call in only four districts of Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada and Kandhamal.
According to Police source the security arrangement has been tightened in Maoists dominated areas of the state in view of the bandh call given by Maoist on Tuesday.
Sources said police and Quick Action Forces have been deployed in Maoist hit areas like Mohana, Adaba, R Udayagiri and Rayagada. Security agencies have declared a high alert in Gajapati district especially Paralakhemundi. Forces are patrolling in the areas bordering Andhra Pradesh. Apprehending any untoward incident, the district administration has cancelled bus services from Paralakhemundi via Jeypore.
The bandh effect was also seen in Koraput district. Jeypore-Rayagada government buses are running via Andhra whereas private buses have stopped their operation. In Narayanpatna security has been tightened. On Monday, Andhra Pradesh's elite Grey-hound and Odisha police launched a joint combing operation in the area. In Rayagada, police started checking four-wheeler vehicles at different places of the town.
The CRPF, DVF and SOG intensified combing operations jointly in the border areas of Ganjam, Kandhamal, Kalahandi and Koraput districts.
Meanwhile, the Red rebels have killed a youth in Shishaput village under Khairaput block late last night suspecting him to be a police informer. Today Odisha Maobadi Party chief Sabyasachi Panda called for a state-wide bandh protesting Bhaliaguda encounter.
Bansadhara-Ghumsur division of CPI (M) has called for a shutdown in Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal and Rayagada condemning the police encounter.