Extremists moving to Odisha

With a spurt in the presence of security forces in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, the Maoists are moving to the bordering Odisha, having built a safe corridor there.

CRPF sources said after Saturday’s attack in the Darbha area of Bastar that killed 27 persons, including senior Congress leaders, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) were deployed in that region to gather images of the retreating ultras. Sources said the UAVs have captured images of formations moving towards Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Odisha DGP Prakash Misra told Deccan Herald that there were reports of a group of Maoists entering the state. “We have intensified operations along the border to ensure that the Maoists don’t enter into our territory,” Misra said.

Two batches of about 25 Naxal cadres and leaders had walked through the forests into Malkangiri and other regions in Odisha. However, one group has returned to the Tulsidongar area in Bastar.

Maoist-dominated Bastar falls under the Dandakaranya special zonal committee (DKSZC), virtually their headquarters. Besides seven districts of Bastar, Dhamtari, Rajnandgaon and Balod, all in Chhattisgarh, the DKSZC also has Gadchiroli and Gondia districts of Maharastra under its ambit.

Due to geographical convenience, sources said the ultras have thinned out in Nabrangpur, Nuapada, Bolangir and Bargarh districts of Odisha and Mahasamud, Gariaband and Raigarh districts of Chhattisgarh, which falls under the Odisha Border State Committee (COBSC). The COBSC is headed by senior leader Malla Raji Reddy alias Sethana alias Sayanna. It is learnt that Reddy, 62, is a resident of Tadur village in the Sircilla area of Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh.

The ultras are also using the route through the forests to enter Jharkhand. A security expert explained that the increased presence of paramilitary forces in the areas hit by left-wing extremism has pushed them to the regions with thinner security cover.

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