India's worst Maoist insurgency hit state Chhattisgarh has been put on high alert after the Leftist rebels asked people to stay away from Independence Day celebrations Aug 15, the state police chief said on Thursday.
"The entire state has been put on high alert in wake of possible Maoist attacks and their call for a boycott of Independence Day," Director General of Police (DGP) Vishwaranjan told IANS.
He said that security has been tightened at all government installations in 18 districts of the state and patrolling has been intensified in sensitive areas like the 40,000-sq km Bastar region, the epicentre of Maoist violence since late 1980s.
"Extra forces have been moved to areas vulnerable to Maoist attacks while security checking of passengers at railway stations, hotels, bus stands and other public places is at the highest level to ensure a smooth Independence Day across the state," the DGP said.
The anti-terrorism squad (ATS) of the state Thursday took control of the Police Parade Ground in the state capital where the main Independence Day function is scheduled Saturday.
Chhattisgarh has been witnessing a string of attacks on police and civilians since June 2005 when a government backed civil militia movement, Salwa Judum, was launched in Bastar to flush out the rebels.
Over 1,500 people have been killed in Maoist violence in Chhattisgarh since November 2000, when the state was carved out of Madhya Pradesh.
Last month, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer was killed along with 28 security personnel in coordinated attacks by the Leftist rebels.