Rebels welcome 2014 with torching mobile tower: Govt. flexes muscle

Bhubaneswar, Jan 1: As the people throughout the state were busy with celebration to welcome the new dawn of 2014, Red Rebels torched Bharti Airtel Ltd. Battery room and other equipment at a mobile phone tower in the Maoist infested Koraput district.

Back home in the state capital Bhubaneswar the state Government has convened a meeting of Unified Command here to discuss the strategy to deal with Maoist challenges signaling a tough year ahead with Rebels and Government flexing muscles in the crucial election year.

Senior police officials said a group of rebels set ablaze the battery room and other equipment at the cell phone tower near Kalia Atala village in Koraput district.

The meeting slated to be held on January 6 is planned to be presided over by chief secretary J K Mohapatra.

Apart from plans to take on armed Maoists, the meeting is also expected to take up development concerns in Maoist strongholds. Addressing socio-economic issues of these areas is high on Government agenda as part of anti Maoist operation, officials said.

To have on the spot assessment of Maoist activities via-a-vis concerns of security personnel involved in the operation top cops visited Maoist infested Malkangiri district recently. Sunil Roy Director Intelligence and Soumendra Priyadarshi, IG, Operations were among senior officials who held close interactions with security personnel involved in anti Maoist operations in the district.

State Government is especially bothered for increasing number of cases of killing of tribal people by rebels after branding them as police informers. Dominance of Maoists has posed a major challenge to carryout development works in affected districts.

The January 6 meeting is expected to take stock of both security and development concerns that administration wants to address on war footing.