Suspected Maoists gun down former Sarpanch in Odisha
Koraput (Odisha), Mar 13 (PTI) Suspected Maoists gunned down a former Sarpanch of Tentuligumma panchayat under Boipariguda block in Odisha’s Koraput district today, a police officer said. The deceased has been identified as 38 year-old Gobardhan Bhumiyan of Tenguligumma under Boipariguda police station limits, the officer said. The incident took place near a forested road on NH-326 near Tanginiguda, situated at a distance of around 60 km from here when the former elected panchayat member was on way to his village on a motorcycle from Tanginiguda, the source said.
Though the modus operandi of the crime is similar to that of Maoists, no Naxal letter or poster was found near the body. Police is yet to confirm the involvement of Naxals behind the incident but they do not rule out Maoist role. “It could also be the fallout of some old enmity and the attackers might have tried to give a Maoist colour to divert police attention. Also, we can t rule out the involvement of Maoists. Details will be known once we complete our investigation,” the officer said.
Odisha police to intensify combing operations against Maoists
With Left-wing extremists (LWEs) extending their activities in the tribal-dominated Kalahandi district in the State, the Odisha Police on Saturday said it would intensify combing operation and also ensure development of certain areas. This was stated by Director General of Police K. B. Singh after reviewing the Maoist situation with Superintendents Police of Kalahandi, Nuapada, Bolangir and Nawarangpur districts here today. Among senior police officials Additional DG Arun Sarangi, Sunil Ray, Santosh Kumar Upadhaya, IG Intelligence D. S. Kute and DIG S. Saine also attended the review meeting.
Admitting that LWE activities have increased in Kalahandi and Nuapada region in the recent time, the DGP said steps are being taken to intensify combing operation and welfare activities as well in the Maoist-infested areas. Out of 13 blocks of Kalahandi, movement of Maoist cadres were witnessed in 10 blocks. However, the situation is acute in tribal pockets in Thuamul Rampur and Lanjigarh blocks, the DGP said claiming that the red radicals are gradually losing their hold over the areas due to intensified combing operation by CRP and SOG. “Maoist cadres are now defensive and desperate,” the DGP said.