Koraput, Sept 2
Odisha Police on Monday rejected the Maoist demand for withdrawing BSF camps from Chitrakonda area, the Naxal hotbed in Malkangiri district, while the state government stressed on the augmentation of developmental activities in the southern districts.
Director General of Police (DGP) Prakash Mishra said the Maoists triggered a landmine blast killing four BSF jawans out of frustration as the government had not withdrawn the paramilitary force as per their demand. The Maoists’ hands are tied due to presence of BSF jawans in the area, the DGP claimed.
Odisha’s Home secretary V K Saxena and DGP Mishra reviewed the ongoing anti-Maoist operations in the southern districts of Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur and Rayagada here six days after the killing of BSF jawans.
Referring to the Maoist threat which led to the stalling of the launch service to the 151 villages in the cut-off area around the Balimela reservoir in Malkangiri district, the DGP said; “It was a desperate gambit by the Maoists, who thought we would wind up the three new BSF camps established in the Chitrakonda area. But the question of withdrawing forces from Chitrakonda does not arise,” Mishra affirmed.
Describing the Maoist offensive of August 27 as unfortunate, the DGP rejected allegations of intelligence failure and said steps will be taken to ensure such incidents don’t occur.
As Maoist activities had been contained to a large extent in Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon blocks of Koraput district, the Naxals were in search of an opportunity to hit back and they succeeded in attacking the BSF convoy.
The Home secretary said development and security go hand in hand in the Maoist-hit districts and more emphasis must be given to rural connectivity and electrification of villages.
Earlier on the day, the DGP held meeting with the SPs and collectors of the four districts and top BSF officials regarding Maoist activities in the area. (PTI)