Maoist bandh disrupts life in Odisha’s Rayagada & Kalahandi
Normal life was paralysed in five blocks of Odisha’s Rayagada and Kalahandi districts today as Maoists called for a bandh protesting against an alleged fake encounter of a tribal youth. While vehicular traffic came to a standstill, most shops remained closed in Rayagada, Kalyansingpur, Bishamcuttack, Muniguda, and Lanjigarh blocks because of the bandh. Passengers were seen stranded in bus stops. Even though there have been no reports of violence so far, security forces have tightened patrolling to avoid any untoward incident.
Notably, CPI(Maoist) Niyamgiri Area Commitee Secretary Sukhdev on March 6 announced the bandh after the security forces killed Monda Kadrika in Dangamatia on February 27. “February 27 was the last day of the Adivasi Ghati festival in the Niyamgiri jungles. Police had killed Monda to create fear and panic among the tribals,” he had alleged. Monda’s brother also had filed a murder complaint against the security forces in Kalyansinghpur police station of Rayagarh on March 5. On the other hand, the security forces on February 27 had claimed that Monda Kadrika (20) was a suspected Maoist and was killed in an encounter led by Rayagada SP K Siva Subramani in the Dangamatia forests. Meanwhile, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) acting Chairman Justice BK Mishra, on March 4, directed the Southern RDC and the South-West Range DIG to inquire and report separately on the allegations within four weeks. The matter is likely to be heard on April 26.