Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has decided to improve road connectivity and take in Maoist-hit southern districts to contain the left wing extremists, who have been targeting civilians in certain pockets of these areas.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Unified Command presided over by Chief Secretary J K Mohapatra last night.
The meeting resolved to focus on the specific places and also take up road connectivity work to Maoist hit areas like Malkangiri, Koraput, Bolangir, Nuapada, Rayagada, Bargarh, Kalahandi and Nawarangpur districts.
"We will soon counter the ultras in Malkangiri. Wait and see," Director General of Police (DGP) Prakash Mishra told reporters without divulging details on last night`s meeting.
Mishra claimed that this was for the first time, the police have got the upper hand over Maoists in Malkangiri where ultras regularly kill innocent villagers after branding them as police informers.
While security personnel last year eliminated 23 ultras, the rebels killed 22 civilians and at least seven security personnel including three BSF jawans in an ambush.
"As the Maoists are now unable to face the security personnel, they target civilians," a senior official said, adding adequate steps would be taken to contain Left Wing Extremism (LWE) in certain pockets.
Besides revisiting the deployment, the unified command meeting also decided to focus on road connectivity and improvement of bridges in the Maoist zones of the state.
"It was also decided in the meeting that the Chief Secretary will take a separate review meeting on the road connectivity and development initiatives to be taken up in the Red Corridors," the official said.
More than 1,000 kilometre roads in Maoist zones need to be repaired for smooth movement of security personnel.
Meanwhile, the works department has issued tender for the much needed Gurupriya Bridge, connecting Odisha with Andhra Pradesh.
This 910-meter long bridge will come up at an investment of Rs 42 crore at Janbai on Malkangiri-Papermetla Road in Malkangiri district.
The chief secretary also asked security wing chiefs to ensure a free and smooth conduct of the coming general elections.