Security forces push back Maoists to small pocket in AOB
Ever since the elite anti-naxal force of Andhra Pradesh, the Greyhounds, struck deep into the Maoist bastion in October 2016, the security forces on both sides of the border in Odisha and A.P. have changed their strategy to establish bases in the interior parts of AOB, to push the left wing extremists on the back foot.
In the wee hours of October 24, 2016, the Greyhounds struck a Maoist camp in Ramaguda, an obscure village in the cut-off area of AOB, killing over 30 Maoists, including some top leaders in one single operation. The operation partially wiped out the MKVB (Malkangiri-Koraput-Visakhapatnam Border) committee.
Buoyed by the success, the security forces of both States have stepped up the offensive by establishing Company Operation Bases (COB) and Armed Outposts (AOP), deep into the AOB region, which was once impregnable.
On the A.P. side four armed outposts under the CRPF have come up at Rallagedda in Chintapalli mandal, Rudakota in Pedabayalu mandal, Thurumamidi in GK Veedhi and Nurmathi in GK Veedhi.
In Odisha, about 25 COBs of the BSF and about 10 IRBN (Indian Reserve Battalion) bases have come up.
Odisha has been successful in creating about six COBs in the cut-off region in places such as Badapadar, Jambai, Jantapayi, Vantalguda, Badapada and Gurasethu and one IRBN base at Jodombo.
“The presence of Maoists was very strong in these areas till about a year ago. But now with BSF setting up a COB at Gurasetu in Swabhiman Anchal of Malkangiri district, the security forces have dented the reach and extent of control of the Maoists,” said a senior officer from the A.P. police, who is engaged in anti-Maoist operation in AOB.
The Maoists were now caught between the AOPs in A.P. and COBs in Odisha and they were pushed back to a small area in the Gumma region in the cut-off. But they still had some cadres in Pedabayalu, GK Veedhi and G-Madugula, but those were minimal and smaller squads, he added.
The inauguration of Gurupriya bridge in 2018 is actually the game changer in the region. Overnight, the cut-off area transformed into Swabhiman Anchal, and over 151 villages in nine panchayats across Odisha and A.P. that were cut-off since decades with the construction of the Balimela reservoir got connected.
The bridge was proposed in 1982 and it took over 36 years to come up, as the work was hampered with the Maoists creating hurdles.