After remaining in hibernation for little over three months following the arrest of Girish Bhokta, a key Maoist operative in Sambalpur district, the rebels have reportedly resurfaced.
Reports received indicate that the Maoists had been noticed in Larasara village under Dhama police limits late on Monday night. About 10 uniformed and armed cadres were speaking both in Odia and Hindi during their interaction with the villagers. They reportedly inquired about their well-being and problems bothering them.
It is learnt that the Maoists in the district have regrouped and have divided themselves into two groups. While one is being led by old hand Kunu Dehuri of Tamersingha village in Jujumura block, the other is being headed by Jharkhand-based Maoist Hemant Bhokta, who has been sent from Saranda to replace Girish in restoring the lost base.
The Maoists were lying low till an exchange of fire with the police at Gaigot-Kuleijharan hills near Gusriabahal village under Kisinda police limits on October 8 last year. After the Maoists retreated the security personnel busted a camp and recovered empty cartridge of INSAS and SLR besides IED.
Later, the Maoists struck at the facility of ARSS Infrastructure along NH-55 at Mundher under Jujumura block, about 15 km from here. Subsequent combing operation led to exchange of fire with the fleeing Maoists at Jadu Loisingha under Jujumura police limits on October 26, located barely a couple of kilometers from the ARSS facility.
Since then the Maoists have been lying low and the fresh movement has made their intentions clear. Though it was believed that the security forces would be able to flush out the Maoists after the arrest of Girish, the arrival of Hemanta from Jharkhand reveals that the Maoists are not prepared to retreat.