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Rebels unleash terror, kill 'informers'

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By ASHUTOSH MISHRA
  • Published 29.05.11
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Bhubaneswar, May 28: The Maoists struck in Nuapada, Orissa’s hunger bowl-turned-emerging Red bastion, killing two alleged police informers in the wee hours today, four days after massacre of nine Chhattisgarh policemen.

While Paras Majhi of Kalmi Dadar village was shot dead by the rebels at point blank range, Nageswar Majhi of Koten was clubbed to death. Sources said both had been kidnapped a few days ago, but their families had refrained from lodging a complaint for the fear of reprisal. “When the bodies were found their worst fears were confirmed. The families are in a state of panic,” sources said.

The killings come close on the heels of Sunabeda massacre following which the police and the paramilitary forces have been combing the sanctuary and its adjoining areas close to Chhattisgarh border.

Nuapada superintendent of police Rajesh Uttamrao Pandit, who was on his way to the killing spot, admitted that both the tribals were executed by the Maoists who appeared to have stepped up their activities in the area.

Sources said despite heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces along the Nuapada-Chhattisgarh border, combating the Red menace was turning out to be an uphill task because of the difficult terrain which is almost inaccessible in certain stretches. “The Sunabeda sanctuary cuts through a large part of the district with the whole area covered with dense forests. The Chhattisgarh police were ambushed by the Maoists on the edge of the sanctuary which forms the border between the two states,” said an officer.

The stepped up Maoist activity in Nuapada, once known only for its abysmal poverty and backwardness, also comes as definite proof that the Maoist cadres from Chhattisgarh have taken control of the region. In fact, they are suspected to be trying to create a liberated zone, including parts of Chhattisgarh and Nuapada. “The area is of strategic importance to the Chhattisgarh rebels who are now active in the bordering areas of Orissa,” the sources said.

Worse, having already penetrated into Nuapada, the Maoists are now likely to push towards Kalahandi, the adjoining district which is rich in minerals and houses a major alumina refinery. “Kalahandi, so far, has been free of the Maoist problem. If they gain a foothold there, it would be the end of peace in the district,” said an officer, adding that the rebels from Chhattisgarh could expect support from their counterparts in Rayagada in executing their plans in Kalahandi and Nuapada which were once part of an undivided district.

The only solace for the police, on an otherwise disappointing day, was the arrest of a Maoist operative, Lalit Beusika, at Chandrapur by the security forces.

“He is an important catch. He was involved in the attack on Chandrapur police station,” said an officer.