Guerrilla week puts cops on alert
Statesman News Service
MALKANGIRI, Dec 3: The People’s Guerrilla Army Week (PGAW) celebrations and suspected influx of radicals from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh have caused concern among local people, particularly after the brutal killing of a person a couple of days ago.
Sibananda Jena (28) was killed by the Maoists at midnight two days back as the radicals suspected him to be a police informer. It is suspected that a huge number of bombs and explosive materials have been planted in the interior pockets and the state highway-25 in view of the celebration of PGA Week.
Today, both the government and private buses remained at Malkangiri bus-stand without plying to Motu, Kalimela and MV 79, the Naxalite-infested pockets. The Motu-Malkangiri section of the state highway wore a deserted look as heavy vehicles remained off road and very few four-wheelers took the “risk”. As many as 35 labourers destined for Bhadranchal area were held up at Malkangiri bus-stand for the driver of the bus refused to go to Motu town.
Some individuals were taking utmost precaution as they are suspected to be on the hit-list of the ultras. Mr Oieka Jaga, the sarapanch of Malavaram grama panchayat, is now camping in Malkangiri district headquarters as he is said to be on the list, while Mr Kantaru Pradhan, a BJD activist of Vejangiwada village, is also staying put at the district headquarters for the same reason.
The cops who had nabbed 18 Naxalites in Gobindapalli Ghat on 15 January, 2004 are also reportedly on the target list as is Marko Raja alias Sekhar, a Maoist who had surrendered in June 2004, said reliable sources. The Malkangiri district police has stepped up its vigil to avert any untoward incident during the celebrations by the PGA.
There has been a spurt in the Naxalite activities in the blocks of Gosani and Rayagada and there are indications that the radicals are congregating under the leadership of a CPI (Maoist) leader who is on the top wanted list of the Andhra Pradesh police, SNS adds from Paralakhemundi.
It is apprehended that the radicals are planning to make an impact during the Peoples Liberation Guerilla Army Week or more commonly called as the PGA Week. Over the last couple of days, there has been a concentration and assembling of radicals, especially in the villages of Batasiripur, Uppalada and Sata Mile which had been the hub of Maoist activities in the past when it raised its ugly head in Gajapati .
While police are keeping their fingers crossed, the Naxalite leaders are planning to gather local support by raking up issues such as corruption and land disputes. The campaign to garner local support has reportedly been based on assurances that all the landless will be distributed lands and huge land holdings of influential people and temple property will be targeted.