Op-Ed: Police Informers Living Under The Shadow of Maoist Guns

By Ashutosh Mishra

Bhubaneswar: In the last one week Maoist rebels have gunned down two alleged police informers in Kalahandi district where they have begun making inroads recently. Both the victims were contractors and seen by the radicals to be collaborating with the men in khaki.

The so-called police informers have been at risk for quite some time now. It was this realisation that had made former director general of state police, KB Singh draw plans for their security during his tenure. Among other things the ‘informers’ had been advised to keep changing their location and maintain contact with the nearest police station.

Such precautions notwithstanding these “moles” continue to be targeted by the radicals who carry out such killings in the most brutal manner in order to send out a message to potential informers. There has been an alarming increase in the killing of police informers during the last few years. Most of these cases have taken place in Maklkangiri and Koraput districts but incidents have also been reported from areas like Rayagada.

Two years ago the rebels had gunned down a tribal named Mali Pusaka at Salpajla village under Muniguda police limits of Rayagada suspecting him to have ratted on them. The rebels had kidnapped Mali along with his neighbour Mandu Pusika from the village on gunpoint. While Mandu was later released the bullet riddled body of Mali was found on the outskirts of the village the day after he was abducted. The Maoists left behind posters describing Mali as a police informer and condemning his activities.

The same year the rebels killed more than three suspected informers in Malkangiri district. All of them–Deba Madkami, Bisu Kirsani and Rama Madkami—were killed in the same manner. They were dragged out of their houses in the dead of the night and their bodies dumped in forests near their respective villages.

Engaged in a prolonged war with security forces the rebels have been extremely severe towards anyone perceived to be helping the troopers. A few years ago they had shot dead a boatman near the Balimela ferry ghat in broad daylight as they suspected him to be supplying provisions to the Border Security Force jawans deployed in the area. It was common knowledge that the man was on their hit list but neither the police nor central paramilitary forces could save him.

State police has consistently maintained that the so-called informers being killed by the Maoists are actually innocent villagers who have been resisting the violent activities of the rebels. Senior police officials claim that Maoists have been carrying out these killings with a view to terrorising people and making them accept their authority.

However, notwithstanding the claims of state police the need to put an end to the gory trend of killing of informers cannot be overemphasized. It is clear that they are being deliberately targeted and in most cases police are aware of the threat being faced by these stool pigeons. It is, hence, the duty of the police to take pre-emptive action wherever possible and save precious lives.

(DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion piece. The views expressed are author’s own and have nothing to do with OTV’s charter or views. OTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)