Written byAnjana Raghav ·
Narayanpatna block in Odisha's Koraput district, which was once regarded as a Maoist hotbed, has recorded zero violence by Naxals since January this year.
Putting up "anti-government" posters, killing of civilians on charges of being police informers, attack on government buildings and establishments, roads, and giving bandh call have now become a thing of past, said Koraput Superintendent of Police, Kanwar Vishal Singh.
"It can be certainly said that Maoists are on the back foot in Narayanpatna. Influence of Naxals is on the wane. There has been sharp fall in their organizational strength," said Singh.
Intensive combing operations by security forces and community policing programs to address various problems of the villagers are paying dividends and the Maoist leadership is demoralized in the area, he said.
"Though the Maoist leadership is disillusioned and demoralized, we can't afford to be complacent as in guerrilla warfare sometimes the Maoists do tactical retreat to execute some major offensive," the SP said.
Sharing its boundary with Andhra Pradesh, Narayanpatna was often under the influence of Maoists. The thick forest cover and its remoteness had always helped the red rebels.
Around 25 armed Maoists are active in the district, but their movement has been restricted to certain pockets, sources said.
However, with intelligence-based operations the police have arrested as many as 25 Maoists and gunned down at least four Naxals and have certainly pushed the Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of the banned outfit, which operates in the area, to a corner, police said.
Police said the Maoists are gradually losing their tribal support base in Narayanpatna as villagers are withdrawing their support from the red rebels.
"The gap between the police and Maoists has decreased in recent times. Also, we act as a facilitator to ensure that the basic infrastructure like drinking water, electricity, healthcare, and road network are strengthened in Naxal-hit villages," the SP said.
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