Security forces launch search operation

Maoists abducted three more persons, including a sarpanch, in Mathili police station area of Malkangiri district on Tuesday night. When contacted, Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Akhileswar Singh confirmed that three to four persons were taken away by force by Maoists from Kiang, Tentuliguma and Kartanpalli villages. Owing to remoteness of the area and lack of mobile communication, details of the incident was still awaited.

It may be noted that a mobile communication tower of a private company was damaged by Maoists at Kiang on April 24 night affecting communication in the area.

According to the police sources, the Naxalites called up their targeted persons from their homes and took them to the nearby jungle. When enquired from the people in the area, it was found that the abducted persons included Kartanpalli sarpanch Gopi Nayak. A tractor driver and an accountant of a tendu leaf trader were also said to be among the abducted persons.

People of the area are in the grip of fear following the abductions. Security forces search operation.

Since past few weeks Maoists have started targeting civilians of Mathili police station area.

Recent abduction was the third one in the area. The Naxalites also blasted the panchayat office building at Kiang on May 6. According to the police, Maoists of Darava division of adjoining Chhttisgarh were behind the violent activities in Mathili area.

In April, Maoists abducted three tribal people from Kiang village. Two of the abducted tribal persons, Gopi Pujari and Hatiram Pujari, were killed and their bodies were located near Kiang village on April 25.

Maoists also abducted three other tribal people, including an elected nayab sarpanch Budu Nayak from Mahupada village on May 3. The nayab sarpanch was murdered and his body was located near Mahupada village on May 4. The other two abducted tribal persons, who were small time traders, were released.

According to sources, some 170 Chhattisgarh cadres of Maoists who are now in the area bordering Malkangiri and Koraput districts of Odisha and Chhattisgarh are trying strengthen their base in the remote Mathili area through these abductions and killings. So, they started targeting elected panchayat body members.