Maoist killings: ‘SOP’ for elected representatives to be strictly followed, says Odisha DGP

Bhubaneswar: A day after two TDP leaders including an MLA were shot dead near Visakhapatnam allegedly by a group of Maoists from the Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee, concerns are now being expressed over the safety of lawmakers in Naxal-infested districts in Odisha.

However, Odisha Director General of Police, RP Sharma informed that clear guidelines have already been issued to ensure that the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) during movement of elected representatives in Maoist areas in the State is duly followed.

Sharma revealed that personal security officers (PSOs) of lawmakers have been advised to duly inform their commanding officers including district police headquarters as well as Superintendents of Police (SPs) in advance regarding the travel plans of the elected representatives.

Earlier yesterday, a group of Maoists had shot dead Kidari Sarveswara Rao, MLA from Araku Valleyand and former TDP MLA Siveri Soma when they were returning from a meeting in Liptuputtu village of Dumbriguda Mandal of Andhra Pradesh.

Later, the supporters of the lawmakers had set the Araku and Dumbriguda police stations on fire protesting failure of police to track the presence of Maoists.

Odisha DG informed that the lawmakers were killed 10 kms away from the Odisha border and as there is a possibility that the armed rebels might enter the State, security forces as well district police officials have been put on alert.

“We are in constant touch with the senior police officials of the neighbouring State and have assured them of all possible assistance including help in combing operation as well as sharing of intelligence,” Sharma added.

“An extra vigil is being kept on the movement of Maoists in the districts of Malkangiri, Koraput and Rayagada. Already Odisha police is in touch with Grey Hound officers in Andhra Pradhesh and joint-combing operations have been intensified,” Sharma informed.