Orissa: Maoists cut off Malkangiri, again
Posted by Admin on October 4, 2009
KORAPUT: Maoists imposed a bandh in Malkangiri on Saturday by blocking the Govindpally Ghat road, the southernmost district’s lifeline to the rest of the state.
The Red rebels had called the 24-hour bandh to protest against the recent arrest of Chhatradhar Mahato, a key leader of a Maoist-backed outfit in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district.
Police said CPI(Maoist) cadres had felled trees on the road connecting the district with Bhubaneswar. Even the 100-km forest road from Malkangiri to Motu, the southernmost town in Orissa, wore a deserted look because no vehicle ventured beyond Malkangiri. The Maoists had also blocked roads at several places between their strongholds of Kalimela and Motu.
"Life has been completely thrown out of gear in the district. Most weekly haats and markets in Maoist-dominated areas remained closed. No person dared to ply his vehicle on the Malkangiri-Motu road. People are facing problems due to the frequent bandhs called by Maoists," a Malkangir resident said.
Police said anti-Maoist operation has been intensified in and around the district. Security forces are on high alert to prevent possible influx of the rebels from Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh into the state.
"At present, the situation is under control. Though traffic has been badly hit no Maoist violence has been reported from the district. Security personnel are on high alert to thwart any untoward incident. We are trying to lift the road blockades," a police officer in Malkangiri said.
The district had remained cut-off from rest of the state for over a week due to blockades put up by rebels at Govindpally road in May. The extremists had felled over 200 trees at that time.
In a separate incident, traffic between Machkund and Lamtaput in Koraput district was hit as Maoists dug up the road to obstruct vehicular movement.