Replicate Odisha’s Naxal Intel Model: MHA
BHUBANESWAR: With security forces tasting much-needed success against Left Wing Extremists (LWE) in the last few years, top intelligence officers of nine States converged at Bhubaneswar on Wednesday and shared strategies to gain further grounds against the ultras. While the focus was on strengthening intelligence network among the States which have been afflicted by the menace since decades and those which are facing the challenge only recently, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has given the advice to take a leaf out of Odisha’s book, at the national workshop on ‘LWE Intelligence Sharing’. States such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, where the challenge of LWE is building up, were advised to replicate the Odisha model to make a dent in the growing Naxal base.
Top officials of the MHA pointed out that though Odisha followed Andhra Pradesh in its anti-Naxal strategies, the former has been able to make significant breakthrough in the last few years. The Special Intelligence Wing (SIW) of Odisha Police, modelled on AP’s Special Intelligence Bureau, has been crucial to the success achieved in the last three to four years, they said. Odisha officers delivered presentations on organisational structure of the SIW, infrastructure, communication equipment and manpower induction strategies since 2008-09 when the foundation was laid. Officers of Telengana and AP also shared their strategies on Naxal intelligence gathering. The meeting revealed that in the last five years in Odisha, more than 300 Maoists have returned to the fold of mainstream while violence has reported a sharp decline.
Between 2009 and 2011, the State saw as many as 377 cases of Naxal violence in which 109 civilians and 71 security men lost their lives. However, things began to change for better afterwards. Between 2012 and 2014, the State reported a total of 254 Maoist incidents which claimed lives of 66 civilians and 26 security personnel. In 2014, not a single police casualty was reported in Maoist incidence in the State. A senior officer said Odisha’s anti-Maoist strategy was mostly based on area-domination till last few years but operations based on actionable intelligence inputs were given more emphasis.
As a result, red rebels were not only neutralised in many hotbeds but frequent operations also nipped in the bud many new units which CPI (Maoist) was trying to build by fresh recruitments. The States, which participated in the meet, were Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Bihar apart from Odisha. Joint Secretary to MHA’s LWE Division Dilip Kumar, Security Advisor Sanjay Aggarwal, Director LWEO Anand Jain, Odisha DGP Sanjeev Marik, Intelligence Director Sunil Roy, Additional DG (Intelligence) AK Sarangi participated in the meeting. Later in the day, the officers visited SIW as well as the Special Operation Group Complex at Chandaka.
Maoists threaten to kill BJD MLA in Odisha
Alleging that the Naveen Patnaik government is working for the interests of multinational companies like Sterlite instead of poor tribals, Maoists have threatened to kill BJD MLA from Lanjigarh and chairman and vice-chairman of local panchayat samiti. In a letter sent to mediapersons, Maoist leader Umakant of Basdhara-Ghumsur-Nagabali divisional committee alleged that the government was arresting people who are taking part in public agitations against bauxite mining in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts.
After gramsabhas in Niyamgiri hills of Kalahandi said no to bauxite mining by Sterlite, the government is planning to start a CRPF camp on Niyamgiri hilltop. “MLA of Lanjigarh Balabhadra Majhi and chairperson/vicechairperson of Biwanathpur panchayat samiti would be killed if they support government move,” the letter by Umakant said. After the expulsion of Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda from the party in 2012 and subsequent arrest last year, the CPI (Maoist) is trying to make their presence felt in southern Odisha through press releases and threats.
Umakant now claims to be the secretary of Basadhara-Ghumusar-Nagavali divisional committee. “The government is more interested in arranging water and mines for companies like Hindalco in Kashipur and Vedanta in Lanjigarh. After coming to power, Orissa has gifted its mines and to hundreds of companies. With the money given by companies, the government is trying to buy the votes of poor people through sops such as Rs 1 a kg rice, cycle, umbrella, blankets and laptop,” the letter alleged.