Odisha to intensify Anti-Maoist operation in cut-off areas

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Police has agreed with neighbouring states to intensify the inter-state anti-Maoist operations in the identified areas having strong presence of the rebels, government officials said.

The state police gave its nod to further intensify operation at the Inter-State Coordination Meeting held at Hyderabad yesterday under the chairmanship of the senior security advisor of the MHA, they said.

The meeting was attended by senior police officers from the state, including Director General of Police R P Sharma.

“It was decided in the meeting to further intensify the inter-state anti-LWE operations in identified inter-state areas having strong presence and activity of CPI(Maoist) cadre members,” a senior officer, who participated in the meeting said.

The cut-off areas in Malkangiri district and Sunabeda reserve forest area in Nuapada district were the focus areas from Odisha perspective, he said adding that these two places had been the cause of concern for the state police.

The broad parameters of the proposed inter-state operations, which were discussed and outlined in the meeting, mostly included strategic redeployment of security forces, upgradation of security and civil infrastructure, upgradation of intelligence and greater synergy with the security forces of the neighbouring states and the central armed police forces, he said.

There has, however, been progressive improvement in Odisha in the LWE situation.

“In the present scenario no CPI(Maoist) activities have been noticed in six districts of Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Gajapati, Mayurbhanj and Nabarangpur. The Maoist activity has been contained to a large extent in Nuapada, Boudh, Nayagarh, Keonjhar, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Sundergarh districts,” the officer said.

The problem continues to be of concern in parts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Kalahandi, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Bolangir and Bargarh districts in terms of movement and violent activities of CPI(Maoist) ultras, he said.

The Maoist violence has significantly declined over the years in the state. Compared to 68 such incidents in 2016, 52 incidents have been reported in the state during 2017, the police said.

The number of civilian killings by Maoist has also come down in Odisha. Compared to 23 civilian killings reported in the state in 2016, 17 civilians died in Maoist violence in 2017.

In 2017, seven CPI(Maoist) cadres were neutralized, 35 arrested and 26 surrendered, the officer said.