Rourkela (Odisha): After being evicted from Saranda forest bordering Odisha and Jharkhand, Maoists appear to be planning to regroup in Sundargarh district, as a large group of cadres was apparently spotted in the area.
Residents of villages on the border between Odisha and Jharkhand have reported movement of the extremists in the region, a police officer, engaged in anti-Maoist operation, said.
The villagers informed the police that over 150 fully-armed Maoists had been spotted in the border areas of the two states, he said.
While one group had proceeded towards Digha range, another batch was staying in the dense jungles of Saranda, just opposite Biramitrapur, locals claimed.
The police further said that the ultras were probably keen to make their presence felt in the area after suffering continuous set backs in recent times.
The police stations on the border areas of each state, like Ramjori, Hurda and Haribari on the Odisha side and Bansjore on the Jharkhand side, are their targets, according to the police.
It was on the night of January 25, 2008, that over 100 ultras attacked the Bansjore PS in Jharkhand. However, their attack was thwarted by a small band of only 12 policemen, which included an injured inspector in charge of the station.
One policeman was killed in the incident, but the Maoists failed to make any dent and the police station was protected valiantly by the security people, he said.
In the last couple of days, the Maoists have suffered another major setback as four of their hardcore cadres were arrested.
Besides, a big land mine was unearthed by the security forces inside Jharkhand, just two kilometres from Bisra police station of Odisha.