NAGPUR: The Maharashtra government doesn’t seems serious about the future of the state Anti-Naxal Operation (ANO) cell given its uncertain status and vacancy at the top post.
The ANO cell is entrusted with the collection, collation and analysis of inputs about the Naxal movement and activities. While the rebels seem to be fighting with a well-chalked out strategy against the government, the state government on its part, is finding it difficult to draw up a concrete plan to check naxals. When erstwhile ANO chief Sunil Ramanand went on leave, Additional CP (crime branch) for city police Ravindra Kadam, took additional charge of DIG Naxal range comprising Gadchiroli and Gondia. Kadam has had a stint with the state Anti-terrorist squad and knowledge in the rebels’ movement. He was tipped to be the next ANO chief with additional responsibility of the Naxal range.
But, the state government reshuffled its police brass last week and did post Kadam as DIG Naxal range, but Addl CP for administration for city police Anup Kumar Singh was elevated as IGP rank to head the ANO. Singh was never associated with any anti-Naxal operation. With his transfer, the government elevated the post from the rank of DIG to IG. Juggling with the status of the post too has become a regular practice by the government which has been adjusting the status of this post of ANO chief as per the availability of the official. The post was elevated to the rank of Additional DGP when Pankaj Gupta, now retired, was available.
Subsequently, Addl DGP VD Mishra was the ANO chief. Mishra was so exasperated with his posting that he functioned half-heartedly with an open admission for such apathy. Now, the officials posted at ANO have no clue where they would be asked to operate from. There’s a speculation that the office would remain in its present location in Nagpur, but a section of the cops believe that government is likely to shift it to the centre to Naxal hotbed Gadchiroli.