Maoists:Biggest threat to Naveen government

Bhubaneswar/Koraput/Malkangiri: The Naveen Patnaik might have tide over several crises in its 12 year tenure but continue to face stiff challenges from the left wing extremists of the CPI(Maoist). The red rebels have already captured 20 districts in the state and run parallel govermnment. Even the Union Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) in its report recently stated that "Odisha was seriously affected" by the ultras.

It was February 6, 2004. Over six hundred armed guerrillas suddenly raided Koraput town. The rebels looted arms and ammunition from the Town police station, Sadar police station and the district garrison and the jail. Four persons died in the Maoists operation. In another ghastly attack, the Maoists had blown off a police jeep at Gamphakonda and killed ten police personnel. The Maoists launched attack on the G Udayagiri police station and jail in 2006.

In 2008 took place the attack in Nayagarh. In the same year 38 Greyhound forces of Andhra police were killed in the Kalimela reservoir in Malkangiri and 21 other security personnel were killed in an anti-landmine blast in Malkangiri. In August 2008, the Maoists successfully targeted Swami Laxamananda Saraswati.

In 2011, the ultras abducted the Malkangiri collector R Vineel Krishna and another junior engineer throwing open challenge to the government. The killing of Umerkote MLA Jagabandhu Majhi was carried out in the same year.

All these are only indicators of the seriousness of the naxal menace. In 2007, 17 persons were killed in 67 naxalite incidents. In 2008, the casualty figured surged upto 101 in 103 incidents. And in 2011, the Maoists claimed 53 lives and carried out 192 attacks.

The Maoists have not only killed security personnel and civilians but also blown off government establishments and schools. The movement which was once limited to southern Odisha has now gripped 20 districts in the state. The extremist organisation has spred its network to coastal Odisha even.

Top Maoist leaders like Sabyasachi Panda and Ramkrishna are still at large though Azad has surrendered before the police. The Special Operation Group(SOG) has been raised especially to tackle the menace. That apart 13 battallions of Central para-military forces from the CRPF and BSF are engaged in anti-naxal operations. While 10 ultras were killed in separate encounters in 2010, the figure has gone up to 23 in 2011. The police arrested 247 and 148 Maoists respectively in 2010 and 2011.

The Naveen Patnaik govwernment has integrated 18 under an action plan to carry out developmental woks hampered due to Maoist problem. Steps are being taken to mitigate the land related problems of the tribals. Yet the Maoists continue to pose serious threats to the government and the security establishments.