No untoward incidents or black flag unfurling by Maoists was reported from any place in south Odisha during the Republic Day celebrations on Saturday.
Even in Narayanpatna block of Koraput district, which has been a Maoist stronghold during past few years, the ultras were not able to disrupt the Republic Day celebrations at any place. It may be noted that like past years Maoists had given call to observe Republic Day as black day. Security had been tightened in all the Maoist-affected areas of south Odisha to check the Maoist threat and for peaceful observation of Republic Day. Senior police officials of Koraput district thanked the general public for the peaceful observation of Republic Day especially in Maoist-affected Narayanpatna area. “This hints that the general public mainly the tribal people have started to realise the importance to live with mainstream and have started to part ways with the Leftist miscreants,” said Koraput Superintendent of Police (SP), Awinash Kumar.
During past weeks a large number of activists of the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) of Narayanpatna block had surrendered before police with the promise that they would no more get attached to violent activities of CMAS and Maoists. This had surely led to dwindling of support base of Maoists in the area, which was evident from the Republic Day observation in all parts of Narayanpatna block. During past years fear of naxalites had surely loomed large over the minds of people interested in observing the National Day.
Ample security arrangement in Maoist-affected districts of south Odisha like Koraput, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Gajapati and Ganjam surely had its impact. Combing operation and patrolling had been intensified in all Maoist-prone areas of these districts. Borders with Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh had been sealed off and all vehicles travelling in naxalite prone areas were checked. In strategic locations security personnel had been placed in disguise to keep watch on nefarious elements. District level Republic Day celebrations in Koraput and Malkangiri towns were also under vigil of tight security. The State Revenue Minister hoisted the National Flag in Koraput while in Malkangiri, State Minister Subrat Tarai was the chief guest.
In Koraput district police came out with a decorative tableau to create awareness against mindless violence of Maoists. This tableau showed how the strength of Maoists was diminishing. It was an effort to spread a message of fearlessness among the common mass .