Malkangiri, Oct 5:
The dawn-to-dusk bandh observed by Maoists protesting against killing of 13 rebels in Odisha’s Malkangiri district had little impact in the district except in a few Naxalite-prone pockets even as the police took to ‘Gandhigiri” as part of confidence building measure among people, official sources said.
The Andhra-Odisha-Border (AOB) division of Maoists had given the call for bandh in Malkangiri and undivided Koraput districts and bordering areas of adjoining Andhra Pradesh to protest the September 14 incident in Silakuta forests, they said.
All government offices, schools, colleges and business establishments functioned normally in the district headquarter town here and other places even vehicular movement was also not affected.
However, in a few areas including Kalimela, Padia and Motu, considered strongholds of Maoists, vehicles remained off the road as a precautionary measure though there was no impact on normal life, they said.
No untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the district. The administration had strengthened security in all police stations, jails, armoury and government offices in the district and intensified police patrolling and combing operation to ward off any threat by the rebels.
Meanwhile, as part of its confidence building measure among the people, the district police commenced a three-day cleanliness drive here.
Wearing jerseys reading “Hinsa Chhada, Desha Gadha” (Abjure violence, Build the Nation), over 1000 personnel of state police led by superintendent of police Akhileswar Singh and district collector M Muthukumar carried out the drive in two government hospitals, different schools and colleges today.
The drive would continue tomorrow and the day after during which they would do so the same in the daily market, at different roads and government offices in the town.
“Maoists were killing innocent people but, through this drive, we want to spread the message that we can also help clean their soul- which is filled with garbage- if they want,” Singh said. (PTI)