Red Signal: A band of suspected red ultras, numbering around 100, had reportedly enquired about the village and nearby localities to a local youth while scouting their ways through the forest near Masina village in Khaprakhol block on August 25 night.
The Maoists launched their Jan Sampark Abhiyan in Masina and other villages in a bid to induct new recruits.
As per the police sources, the red rebels have been holding meetings since February while their presence was well-felt in August.
“We carried out combing operation on August 26 and 27 and with joining of the Special Operation Group (SOG) jawans, the operation was intensified from August 28,” informed SP Ajaya Sarangi.
Meanwhile, the ultras have divided into several small groups and are still pursuing their Jan Sampark, sources confided.
Hunger Beckons: The death of five members of Jhintu Bariha family of Chhabripali village due to alleged starvation, even after six decades of Independence, yet again attracted the media attention and rocked both the State and Centre.
While the district administration toiled hard downplaying the sham as death due to malaria and malnutrition, scores of visitors, including the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Rapporteur had visited the village and the villagers had shown him the wild seeds and roots they consume during the lean period.
Empowering ‘no-industry district’ via Thermal Plant: Just to ward off the ‘no industry district’-stigma, an attempt was made by the local young and energetic MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo and under his initiative, the Sahara group of companies is going set up a 1,320 MW Thermal Power Plant at Lutherbandh in Titiligarh, which evokes sharp opposition from the locals apprehending land and livelihood losses.
However, the company seems to be proceeding in its efforts by launching the welfare measures like ambulance and health camps in its peripheral areas.
Craze for banned Bt Cotton, Monsanto Maize: Unprecedentedly, the craze for the banned Bt cultivation soared up among the farmers across the district here without knowing its long term implications on soil and ecology.
To tackle the pest menace on crops and act quickly, an e-pest surveillance scheme was also launched in the district on a pilot basis.
Saviour rain turns Monster: Erratic rain wreaked havoc on agriculture. While deficient rainfall had augured in a drought-like situation earlier, the unseasonal rain, on the eve of paddy harvest, played spoiled sport hitting further a bolder blow on the backbone of the farmers.
Democratic Uprising: For the first time, the townsfolk protested before the Shailashree royal palace against the apathy of the local MP and MLA in fulfilling the longstanding demand of filling up the vacant teacher posts of Rajendra College and other colleges of the town.
Nonstop Labour Migration: It all seems to be a perennial stream as there is no stop to the usual migration of large number of labour force in quest of greener pastures despite the hullabaloos on violation of Human Rights, protection measures, poverty alleviation schemes and policies and steep decline in the traditional water harvesting structures.
A damn to healthcare: Besides other deadly diseases, HIV/AIDS is spreading fast both in the rural and urban pockets of the district having claimed 46 death toll and gripped 368 persons with no medicine and vacant laboratory technician posts turning the ART centre a mere bill-board.
Silver lining: Amid such dark spots on the bright moon of the district’s firmament, the silver lining had been with the boys here having excelled in the Inter-State Junior Badminton Championship and Kabbadi.
While local BJD MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo went on a visit to the USA and Israel to acquaint himself with the nuances of management and development along with other young Indian MPs, former Law Minister and former local MLA Narsingha Mishra was appointed member of the National Law Commission, former minister and incumbent Patnagarh MLA KV Singh Deo as leader of the BJP legislature party in the Assembly and Kantabanji Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja created history by hurling the pen stand at the Assembly Speaker.
Sniti Mishra excelled in the Zee Saregama competition, students excelled in the HSC examination et al. Notwithstanding that, the optimistic denizens of the district are hopeful that the year 2011 brings in cheers in the faces of all.