Indian Security Forces Hunt Down Maoists in Orissa, India

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Indian authorities are tracking down a group of Maoists, following a major gun battle. Security forces are combing through a forested area in India’s Orissa state to catch the rebels.

After a fierce encounter with Maoists, Indian security forces launched a massive combing operation in India's Orissa state on Tuesday.

Residents welcome the move.

[Chakra, Local Resident]: (gender male, Oriya)
"It is good that the Border Security Force is conducting checks. It is for our benefit. We are too are scared of the Maoists and are fed up with the violence."

Authorities have installed check posts in the area and every passing vehicle is inspected.

Paramilitary forces along with state police of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh have been deployed for the operation.

And some say the operation will succeed if local police provide help.

[K. M. Majhi, Former Police Officer]: (Male, Hindi)
"The Andhra government applied a lot of pressure, which is why the top Maoist commanders are present in Malkangiri district and a few are present in Narayanpatna. If local police and personnel help, operation Green Hunt will be successful."

The Maoists are described by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as the country's biggest internal security threat.

Over the past four decades, they have expanded their support among farmers by tapping into resentment at the government's pro-industry push.

They have spread into rural pockets in 20 of India's 28 states.

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