Combing operations launched amid suspected naxal sightings around Karnataka border

An officer said it has been ensured that all the Naxal-affected polling booths will be given central paramilitary force protection.

BySouth First Desk

Published Apr 21, 2024 | 7:15 PMUpdatedApr 21, 2024 | 7:15 PM

File video grab of ANF combing Karnataka Forests for nabbing Naxals

Amid suspected Naxal sightings in and around the areas of Karnataka bordering Kerala, the police have launched combing operations in the neighbouring areas and made adequate arrangements for upcoming Lok Sabha elections, officials said on Sunday.

The general elections in Karnataka will be held in two phases on  26 April and 7 May for its 28 constituencies.

Speaking to PTI, Arun K, Superintendent of Police Udupi said that some days ago, there were suspected Naxal sightings in and around the Karnataka-Kerala border. However, around five-six years ago, there were no naxal sightings on this side of Karnataka.

“We have coordinated with anti-naxal force and have started combing operations in the neighbouring areas. We have started the anti-naxal squads in the concerned district and are also trying to collect information from the local public regarding any naxal activities,” he said.

The officer further said it has been ensured that all the Naxal-affected polling booths will be given central paramilitary force protection on the day of polling.

“As of now, we don’t expect any issues but we have made adequate arrangements to ensure peaceful elections,” he said.

Also Read: Naxals spotted in Kodagu after 11 years; ANF leans on new surrender policy to help

Sightings in Kodagu

After a gap of 11 years, Naxal movement was reported in Karnataka’s Kodagu district recently.

The movement of Naxal elements in the Kodagu region adjoining the Kerala border was confirmed by officers to South First.

Frequent sightings of strangers suspected to be Maoists in the Koojimalai forest area had also prompted Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) jawans to take up combing in the forest area, and a contingent of ANF has been stationed in Koojimalai village, sources said on 28 March.

After thorough searches in both Ainekidu and Koojimale estates in the areas where a woman was found by the ANF jawans, it was revealed that she was from Rajasthan and was going from place to place in search of work.

She was the cause of rumours that led to extra combing by the ANF.

Sources within the ANF have suggested that Maoist groups, previously detected in these regions, may still be active on the fringes of the Pushpagiri Forest Sanctuary.

ANF sources have confirmed that they have received complaints of strangers frequenting the area between Sampaje and Koojimalai.

(With PTI inputs)