Centre hints suspension of ops
New Delhi: In the wake of the abduction of a district collector by Maoists in Orissa, the Centre today hinted at temporary suspension of operations against the extremists to facilitate his safe release.
Union Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai said the Central government has been providing the state governments whatever assistance required to tackle the Naxal menace and would do so in the future too.
"In the limited area if the operation is to be stopped or not, the state government is fully competent to take a view. It has been done in Chhattisgarh a few days ago where for 48 hours the operation was suspended to enable the release of abducted policemen," he told reporters reacting to the kidnapping of the 30-year-old IAS officer R V Krishna.
On the sidelines of a function, Pillai said there was no question of suspending operations against the Maoists in other areas and these would continue.
"What the Maoists are doing is anti-national. That part (operation) is remained. There is no question of stopping the operations (in other areas)," he said.
The Home Secretary said Krishna, District Collector of Malkangiri, had gone to attend a public function which was well advertised and that was attended by a large number of villagers.
"It (the function) was to hear, listen to the problems of the villagers, find solution. It was well advertised in advance and that programme went very well," he said.
After the meeting Krishna, along with a junior engineer, went to inspect a village road following a complaint raised at the meeting on a motor cycle and without any security to a place about four to five km away.
"It only shows the enthusiasm and the dedication of the young officer that without security he went across to look after what we call as the public good. On the way back, we understand he was abducted by the Maoists," he said.
Pillai said the Maoists had sent a small chit of paper seeking suspension of operations against them and to stop arrest of innocent tribals.
"But the state government is fully aware of the situation and the steps are being taken to undertake his release at the earliest," he said.