Security tightened in Orissa as Maoists begin ‘motivation week’

December 2nd, 2008 - 5:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Dec 2 (IANS) Security was beefed up in five Maoist-affected districts of Orissa Tuesday as the rebels began observing the ‘Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army Week’ to motivate their cadre to step up the battle against the government, police said.Communist Party of India (Maoist) activists have distributed leaflets and put up posters around Koraput, Rayagada, Malkangiri, Gajapati, and Kandhamal districts, appealing to the youth to join their ranks if they want to end corruption and exploitation, a senior official of the state police told IANS.

Every year, the rebels undertake scaled-up attacks against policemen and trigger land mine blasts during this period.

“We do not want to take chances”, Satyabrata Bhoi, superintendent of police of Malkangiri — one of the worst-affected districts — told IANS, adding that security has been ramped up at all important places in the area.

Shops and business establishments were closed and most public and private vehicles were off the road in several areas fearing attack by the rebels, officials said.

Several schools in rural areas of the affected districts were also closed as parents were not willing to send their children out of home and teachers also preferred to stay away, local sources said.

Meanwhile, police are carrying out patrolling and have launched combing operations in the areas where the Maoists have a strong presence.

Increasing Maoist-related violence over the past few years has become a major cause of concern for the government with officials expressing helplessness in tackling the situation. The rebels have their influence in at least 15 of the state’s 30 districts.

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