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Major Anti-Maoist Ops 'Checked' As Rebels Use Villagers As 'Human Shield' In Odisha's Malkangiri

14 September 2018

Bikash Das

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Bhubaneswar: A major anti-Maoist operation in Malkangiri district was called off by Odisha Police after the extremists tried to use some of the villagers at the spot as human shield.

The operation, led by Malkangiri SP Jagmohan Meena, started at around 8:30 pm on Thursday. Soon as the joint team of District Voluntary Force (DVF) and Special Operations Group (SOG) reached the spot, the Maoists, around 25 in number, started retreating into the woods.

While marching back, the LWEs pulled a group of villagers along with, using them as human shields. On spotting the civilians being used as cover, Meena ordered his team to launch a volley of blank fires to disperse and eventually identify the Maoists. The strategy worked in ensuring that there were no civilian casualties.

Though there was an exchange of fire, the cops had to be watchful that there was no collateral damage. Taking advantage of the situation, the Maoists managed to escape, DG Police Dr RP Sharma said.

According to sources, the assemblage at Tulasidongar on Thursday was called by Darbha Division Committee Head, Vinod Kashyap who was distributing Maoist literature among the villagers.

The extremists have managed to cross the border into Chhattisgarh, said sources The encounter was followed by a search operation on Friday by a group of SOG jawans who have recovered Maoists kits and literature from the spot.

Located on a forested and hilly terrain, around 100 kms from Malkangiri district headquarters, Tulasidongar area is one of the most frequented pockets for the Maoists. Meanwhile, the combing operations are still on.

Also Read: Odisha Police To Start 'Drone' Surveillance On Gurupriya Setu, Bhubaneswar

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Dr RP Sharma, DG Police, Odisha