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Tragedy averted after BSF detects IEDs in Odisha’s Swabhiman Anchal

The devices were buried strategically near a bridge under a mango tree.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

A major tragedy was averted when Border Security Force (BSF) personnel deployed in Swabhiman Anchal, a hotbed of left wing extremists in Odisha’s Malkangiri district, detected and defused seven improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on Tuesday.

The devices were buried strategically near a bridge under a mango tree. According to the BSF, an Intelligence-based operation was launched in Swabhimaan Anchal close to the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border on Monday.

“Operational team of BSF traced out seven IEDs in tin and steel containers on the connecting road axis of Dharlaveda-Tutugumi-Guraserthu. It is suspected to be handiwork of the rebels targeting the troop movement in the interior areas of Swabhiman Anchal,” the BSF said.

“Operational party cordoned off the area and under the supervision of the bomb disposal squad, defused the IEDs at the site early on Tuesday. No collateral damage took place,” it further said.

Area domination

The BSF assisted by State police has been trying to establish area domination in Swabhiman Anchal (formerly known as cut-off area), which was considered as a liberated zone by the Left rebels. Even State police were afraid of venturing into the cut-off area comprising of 151 villages.

However, the situation improved significantly after the deployment of the BSF and construction of a bridge over River Gurupriya that connected the cut-off area with the mainland. Earlier, the location was encircled by water from three sides and inhospitable terrain from one side.

Development work

A BSF officer on condition of anonymity said, “as we are making inroads into their stronghold everyday, these types of reactions from rebels are expected. However, we have managed to strengthen our intelligence network by involving ourselves in community work. The intelligence inputs are coming seamlessly.”

As of now, security forces dominated an area up to 25 km into Swabhiman Anchal while another 40-km-long stretch area would have to be secured from CPI (Maoists), he said.

After the recent success of security forces, the Odisha government has started expediting development works. Mobile towers have been set up in five places and people in this area may access uninterrupted cellular service shortly. Recently, a full-fledged primary health centre started functioning following the deployment of two doctors.

Encouraged by the security provided by the BSF and State police, the Malkangiri district administration started working vigorously on improving the road network. After the monsoon season, the road would be laid in the remaining 50-km stretch. A passenger bus of the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation started plying to Swabhiman Anchal for the first time months ago, but it was discontinued due to the rainy season. Sources in district administration said regular passenger bus would be run from this winter.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 11:36:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/tragedy-averted-after-bsf-detects-ieds-in-odishas-swabhiman-anchal/article32899204.ece

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