BHUBANESWAR: Residents of Panasput, a remote village in the cut-off area of the Chitrakonda reservoir, were the key architects behind the success of the joint operation of the AP and Odisha police which killed 27 Maoists on Monday.
Disillusioned with the Maoists and benefitting from the mass outreach programme launched by Malkangiri police, the villagers passed on vital info to the cops about the arrival of Maoists.
Sources said the Odisha police shared the info with AP cops which prepared a strategy to launch an ambush. The info was passed two days before the ambush, sources added.
The Greyhounds launched the attack along with the Special Operations Group and District Volunteer Force (DVF) of the Odisha police. It may be mentioned here that Maoists were active in 18 of the 30 districts in Odisha. Their footprint has been shrinking.
The rebels have almost lost their influence in Bandhu-gaon and Narayanpatna blocks of Koraput district; Chandrapur, Kalyansinghpur and Muniguda. The arrest of Sabyasachi Panda, a top Maoist leader, in 2014 and the death of Munna, son of Maoist Central Committee member Ramakrisha, on Monday are major blows.
Though the killing of tribals suspected of being informants and attack on mobile phone towers and buildings continue it is clear that the Maoists are losing ground.
The construction of a major bridge over the Gurupriya river which was suspended on many occasions in the past due to Maoist threats has resumed this year and is going on at a rapid pace. Once construction of the bridge is complete, it will establish a vital link between the 150 villages in the cut-off area....