In an effort to augment its anti-Maoist operations, the Odisha Government would soon declare a big cash prize for nabbing of three selected hard core frontline Maoist leaders, sources said.
While the neighbouring State of Andhra Pradesh has already declared `12-lakh cash prize for people on whose information top Maoists like Ramakrishna alias RK and Modem Balakrishna alias Manoj could be caught, the Odisha Government is mulling a move togive `20 lakh.
Besides these two, top Maoist leaders in Odisha, Sabyasachi Panda’s arrest would also fetch `20 lakh, the sources said. All the three top Maoists have been identified as those responsible for a series of Maoist violence in the State.
While Ramakrishna has been camping in the jungles of Koraput and looking after the Maoist activities in the Narayanpatna area and neighbouring Rayagada district, Modem Balakrishna is responsible for such activities in Malkangiri and Kandhamal districts.
Panda, whose wife Subhasree Das continues to remain in jail, is the State Secretary of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) outfit. Ramakrishna is the Central Committee member and Secretary of the Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC).
Modem Balakrishna is also one of the members of the CPI (Maoists)’s Central Committee and the chief of the Odisha Maoists.
The Odisha Police, after a thorough examination, has come to the conclusion that arrest of the trio would help in substantially bringing down the violence in the State. The cash prize would be open for any civilian, member of the Maoist cadre or the security personnel. However, the information must lead to arrest of the top Maoists.
During his recent visit here, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram also confirmed that the Central Intelligence found the trio responsible for all the violence in the State.
“Though the State Government is providing cash prize over head of some Maoist leaders, it has been confined to only police personnel. Chidambaram suggested to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to make it ‘open’ rather than ‘secret,’ pointed out a senior official.
The Union Home Minister said Andhra Pradesh is rewarding villagers `12 lakh for providing information leading to arrest of Central and State Committee Maoist leaders.
Chidambaram impressed upon Patnaik that the reward policy of Odisha should be made an attractive one so that it would lure the attention of the Maoist cadre of other States. Till date, the policy of the Odisha Police is a secret one and nobody knows how much a person would get after revealing information on top Maoist leaders. So, unsure about the rewards, villagers are reluctant to part with information on any person. The identity of the villagers giving information leading to arrest of the Maoists must be kept secret, a top cop added.
Depending on the category of Maoists, the reward amount has been fixed between `50,000 and `12 lakh by the Andhra Pradesh Government. Any villager ensuring arrest of a Special Area Committee Member gets `12 lakh while the reward on a Maoist leader who is in charge of the State is `10 lakh. Zonal Committee Commanders and Additional Zonal Committee Commanders each carry awards of `8 lakh and `7 lakh, respectively.