High alert in Odisha after journalist's murder

He was killed in Chhattisgarh by suspected Maoists

A high alert has been issued in Odisha’s Malkangiri district following the killing of a senior journalist in neighbouring Sukma district of Chhattisgarh by suspected Maoists. The state’s border with Chhattisgarh has also been sealed and vehicles are being thoroughly checked.

According to a report from Malkangiri, the 45-year-old journalist, Nemichand Jain, was taken away by a group of armed youths from his village near Chhattisgarh-Odisha border on Tuesday evening.

Jain’s dead body was found abandoned on a road near his village with a deep cut in his throat on Wednesday morning. The body also had bullet marks.

A Maoist poster was recovered which stated that the scribe was eliminated as he was informing the police about their movement. Besides, he was also instigating youths in the village and neighbouring areas against them. The journalist was working for a prominent Hindi daily.

The killing has sent shock waves among scribes working in Malkangiri and other Maoist infested districts of Odisha as they had never targeted the media in the past in  Malkangiri-Sukma-Dantewada belt, the most notorious Maoist zone in the country. Malkangiri based journalists have condemned the incident.

Meanwhile, the Maoists have strongly opposed the proposed visit of Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh to Odisha’s Nuapara district. Ramesh is scheduled to visit the area on February 16 to review works near the Sunabeda wildlife sanctuary.

Maoist posters have been found in several villages in the area protesting the minister’s visit and appealing to the people to throw him out. The police have also seized landmines from near the sanctuary.

A combing operation has been launched following the recovery of landmines. For the last couple of years, the Sunabeda sanctuary has become a safe hideout for the Maoists operating in the district.

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