Security forces have been put on high alert in five districts of Odisha in the wake of Thursday’s killing of eight Maoists in neighbouring Chhattisgarh, a senior police official said on Friday.
Security forces on Thursday killed at least eight Maoist cadres, including four women, in a fierce encounter in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur.
Odisha Director General of Police R P Sharma on Friday said the Naxals were under pressure in Chhattisgarh after Thursday’s encounter, and hence the five bordering districts have been put on alert to prevent their influx into his state.
“We have asked forces in districts like Nuapada, Malkangiri, Bargarh, Koraput and Nabarangpur to remain in a state of high alert after Thurday’s anti-Maoist operation in Chhattisgarh,” Sharma told PTI.
The Superintendents of Police of the districts bordering Chhattisgarh have been told to remain vigilant and maintain a close watch on the borders, he said.
“Though the place of Thursday’s encounter is not very close to the Odisha border, attempts by Maoists to move into our areas cannot be ruled out and security personnel have to be in a state of preparedness to deal with such movement,” the state police chief said.
As part of the drive to foil any Maoist infiltration bid into Odisha, patrolling and combing operations by the security forces have been stepped up in the districts that share borders with Chhattisgarh, a senior police official said.
In Malkangiri, the border with Chhattisgarh has been sealed in several areas like Mathili, Padia and Motu. The movement of vehicles is being closely monitored and thorough checking is being undertaken, district SP Jagmohan Meena said.
Stating that the borders with Andhra Pradesh have also been sealed as a precautionary measure, he said, search operations were being carried out in several areas bordering Chhattisgarh.
Thursday’s gunbattle took place in a forest area near Timinar and Pusnar villages along the boundary of Bijapur and Dantewada districts.