Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 20:
At a time when not a week goes by without Maoist related violence in Odisha, the state government’s confused stand over Maoist situation in the state continues as top honchos continue to make conflicting statements.
A point in case, while Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik continues to address the Maoist challenge as a “major concern” inside the Assembly and out, state’s DGP KB Singh believes that the performance of the cops have been “satisfactory and Maoist morale is down”.
“We have reviewed the Naxal activities inside Odisha and the bordering areas. 2015 was a satisfactory year. Our performance was very good. Naxals have been desperate now and their morale is down. They want to harass local innocent villagers as they have lost their support base in the state. This is why they are killing innocent tribals,” said DGP Singh speaking to reporters today after reviewing the Maoist situation in the state along with Home secretary Asit Tripathy at the state secretariat.
Notably, only a week back on January 13, addressing reporters before the Unified Command meet, Singh himself found the Maoist situation in Angul and Mayurbhanj districts troublesome.
A little earlier on January 8, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik found the “left wing extremism a major concern” and “activities of Maoist cadres in the districts of Bolangir, Kalahandi, Kandhamal and Boudh is worrisome” as we reported here.
One more month back in time, on November 22, 2015 Police DGP K B Singh himself claimed that “a large number of Maoists have infiltrated into the state because of heightened security in neighboring Jharkhand” indicating a massive failure in patrolling and combing as we reported here.
On August 25, 2015, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said “the position continues to remain challenging in the districts of Malkangiri, Koraput and Nuapada” in his reply to an adjournment motion in the state Assembly.
Interestingly, while stating facts and figures, the leaders and top officials come up with new districts in the list of Maoist affected districts as the examples above show. However, they also make it a point to add that the overall Maoist situation in the state is under control, without explaining how.