DGP seeks to segregate Odia Maoists from others

Bhubaneswar: Asking top Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda alias Sunil to surrender, Odisha`s new Director General of Police Prakash Mishra today said he would try to segregate the local cadre from the ultras hailing from neighbouring Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

"Many Odia cadre in the CPI (Maoist) are unhappy due to interference of members from other states. Many Odia cadres are also being harassed and tortured by them," Mishra, who took over as DGP today, told reporters. Even secretary of Odisha State Organising Committee (OSOC) Sabyasachi Panda was unhappy due to interference of outside Maoists, he said.

Asked whether he would call upon Panda to surrender, the new DGP said: "Certainly. We will be very happy, if Panda comes forward and surrenders." The state government had already announced Rs 20 lakh reward for the arrest of Panda. Stating that Odia Maoists were not as cruel and ruthless as their colleagues from Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, Mishra said he would like all local cadre to surrender and take benefit of the recently announced rehabilitation scheme.

After meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here, the 1977 batch IPS officer said he would also like to strengthen the intelligence wing of the Police in order to successfully deal with Naxal menace. "Our focus should be to contain spread of extremism and confine it to a few pockets. I am sure we will be able to show something tangible," he said.

Mishra admitted lack of supervision in the existing network which sometimes resulted in alleged custodial deaths. Stating that police stations in Maoist-hit areas are highly fortified and people were scared to visit them, he said civil police concept should be encouraged to enable people to get their grievances redressed.