MHA advisory to states: Possibility of more attacks on political personalities

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to prevent recurrence of the audacious attack on senior Congress leaders in Chattisgarh on Saturday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a fresh set of guidelines to the chief secretaries of nine Naxal-affected states on Monday. As per the guidelines, the state government is required to appoint a nodal officer at the police headquarters to coordinate the programmes of all political parties in Naxal-affected areas. The Home Ministry issued the advisory to Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.

The MHA advisory said, “A nodal officer be appointed at the police headquarters to coordinate the programmes of all political parties. He should also coordinate with the field formations on security related matters including security arrangements for rallies, protection along route, enhanced security for persons with high threat perceptions”.

On the Chhattisgarh mayhem, the advisory has said, “Such indiscriminate killing of innocent political workers is a new development which needs to be addressed on priority. In many ways, it betrays the anti-democratic ethos of Maoist insurgency. It also indicates that they are ready to unleash mindless violence to prevent democratic process from reaching area which they dominate”.

On the issue of holding rallies in Naxal-affected areas and possibility of further attacks, the advisory said, “In all such political rallies, SP should issue written orders on all aspects of security plan, conduct rehearsals. The DIG/IG ranges should act similarly when programmes cuts across districts. The level of mainstream political activities in these states will increase due to impending elections in LWE (left wing extremism) states. There is continuing possibility of more attacks on political personalities and programmes”,

On the need to revamp security, the advisory said, “The level of mainstream political activities in these states will increase. Hence, there is a continuing possibility of more attacks on political personalities and programmes. There is an urgent need to factor this into the security architecture of all the states concerned.”

The advisory mentioned about significant losses of leaders, cadres and also territory suffered by the CPI-Maoist in the recent past, while intelligence reports indicated a great deal of discomfiture among top leadership of Maoists over the string of reverses.

"The latest attack has to be viewed in this context, wherein a soft target has been attacked to recapture national media space to motivate their own cadres. This is also intended to serve as a statement of their continued resilience," the advisory said.