Centre proposes new methods to combat Maoists
Perturbed by the audacious attack by the Maoists that killed 14 central reserve police force (CRPF) personnel, including two middle rank officials, the Centre is making a renewed push to implement the national policy to effectively combat left wing extremism. Departing from the UPA government’s monitoring mechanisms, in the draft national policy the Centre has proposed four new oversight mechanisms – three at central level and one at level of the state governments for fast track monitoring and implementation of schemes and action plans.
The new oversight mechanisms, the Centre has proposed are – Core group of ministers (CGM) at the centre led by the union home minister; inter-ministerial group of officers (IGO) under the cabinet secretary; coordination committee of centre and states (CCCS) chaired by union home secretary and committees for integration and coordination (CIC) at the state government level headed by chief ministers. The draft policy, sources said, is all set to go in for the cabinet approval after securing “in principle” nod from the chief secretaries and director generals of police of 10 LWE affected states in a meeting chaired by the union home secretary Anil Goswami on Tuesday.
“This is being done to set up a robust institutional mechanism in place so that the effort to defeat Maoists remains focussed and concerted and not lackadaisical,” said sources. Chaired by the union home minister, the CGM will have ministers of finance, tribal affairs, rural development, panchayati raj, road and transport, environment and forests as members and chief ministers of all the 10 LWE affected states as special invitees. It shall meet every six months to monitor the entire LWE situation and review the implementation of all security and development measures. The IGO to be headed by the cabinet secretary and having secretaries of home, tribal affairs, panchayati raj, road transport and highways and additional secretary (home) as members will be responsible for reviewing and modifying the existing norms and guidelines, inter-ministerial coordination and will monitor important schemes of the central government in LWE affected states.
It will meet every three months and will hold interactions with states through video conferencing. The most important cog in the mechanism, the CCCS, will review and monitor all security and development measures, coordinate between central and state forces and oversee inter-state border coordination. Headed by the union home secretary and having direct IB, DGs of all central armed police forces (CAPFs) and all 10 Naxal affected states as members, the committee will meet every quarter.
The CIC at the state governments will be headed directly by the respective chief ministers and will be assisted by top officials from every concerned department and security force such as chief secretary, secretaries of home, finance, PWD, information, development commissioner, state DGP, senior-most officers of CAPFs and IB in the state, chief conservator of forests. It will meet every two months and will be responsible for monitoring LWE situation, reviewing security and development measures and coordination between central and state agencies.
In addition, the national policy lays emphasis on perception management of Adivasis to wean them away from Maoists fold by recognising tribal icons and leaders by celebrating their anniversaries, naming airports and buildings after them, radio broadcasts to emotionally integrate tribals in mainstream, counter propaganda on social media platforms to counter Maoist propaganda, bringing out posters, banners and pamphlets to highlight Maoist atrocities. “A separate budget will be kept for the purpose of perception management,” sources said.
Maoists trying to regroup?
Pamphlets and posters in the name of Maoists appear on the Andhra-Odisha border
The banned CPI (Maoist) is trying to regain its foothold in Agency areas of the district, if pamphlets and posters that have surfaced recently are any indication. The propaganda literature, in Odiya, was reportedly found on the Andhra-Odisha border four days ago. There has been a lull in Maoist activity in the district for quite some time now. But there was apprehension among police that they would resort to violence during the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) week, which concluded on December 8.
Barring a landmine blast, in which there were no casualties, there were no major incidents during the week. A few days ago, Maoists kidnapped two tribal people, branding them as ‘police informers,’ on the Odisha side of the border. This, coupled with the surfacing of Maoist propaganda, has given rise to apprehensions that Maoists are trying to regroup. However, police have dismissed such reports. “There has been no Maoist activity during the past few days in our district,” Narsipatnam OSD Vishal Gunni told The Hindu on Sunday.
Video clips suggest Naxal threat on PM
New Delhi: The intelligence agencies have got credible evidence that Naxalites are planning to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Maoist-infested states. Sources said the agencies saw video footage recovered from the laptops of Naxal cadres arrested in the past few weeks of a number of rallies addressed by Mr Modi in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls and the ongoing polls in Jharkhand. Most of the footage is from Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand rallies.
These are now being scrutinised by officials from the Intelligence Bureau and National Investigation Agency. “Prime facie it appears that Naxals were scrutinising the security deployment pattern at the PM’s rallies. There is strong suspicion that this was being done primarily with the aim of targeting the PM’s rallies and perhaps PM was the potential target. Prior to the recent attack on CRPF personnel the Naxals were desperate for a major incident and perhaps that was the reason they were recording the deployment pattern of security personnel at the venue for the PM’s rallies,’’ a senior intelligence official said.
However, following the intelligence inputs security at the PM’s rallies was made completely foolproof due to which the Naxals could not carryout any attack. But the fact that Naxals or their sympathisers mingled with the crowd and recorded the event is in itself a cause for concern for the security agencies.
Youth injured during operation against Maoists
A youth sustained an injury in his abdomen after being hit by a bullet during an anti-Maoist operation, allegedly by a police team at Dosillapalli village in Charla mandal late on Saturday night. The injured person has been identified as Karam Narasimha Rao, 30, of Dosillapalli. Police sources maintained that the youth was injured in an exchange of fire between the rebels and police personnel. However, unofficial sources said that Narasimha Rao, a petty vendor, was injured when a police party allegedly fired at him, suspecting him to be a rebel, when he reportedly tried to flee on his motorbike during a vehicle checking operation near Dosillapalli around Saturday midnight. Narasimha Rao reportedly suffered a bullet injury in his abdomen in the incident.
He was rushed to a private hospital in Bhadrachalam the same night, sources added. A police party came under fire from the ultras near Dosillapalli while it was on its way to Tippapuram to provide security to the ongoing road works in the remote village, said A Narender, Venkatapuram CI. The police personnel returned the fire in self-defence, he said, adding that the police found an injured youth at the incident site after the cessation of fire. The youth was later identified as Narasimha Rao, a civilian of Dosillapalli, who sustained a bullet injury in the exchange of fire. Three kitbags of the rebels were recovered from the incident site. Narasimha Rao was shifted to Hyderabad on Sunday for better medical care, he said.