Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Apr 10:
Odisha Police today received tips on tackling political violence and terrorism in the state from a top US expert on the subject.
Gary LaFree, Director of the National Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) USA and Professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Maryland spoke on ‘terrorist and their tactics’ and ‘target and research’ at a conference organised by the Crime Branch of Odisha Police here today.
He also guided the state police on the attack strategies by terrorists and the weapons of choice etc.
Briefing the media about the objective of the conference, DGP Sanjeev Marik said; “As all of you know, Odisha suffers from left-wing terrorism. Even though it has reduced a lot over the years, we held the conference to learn the trend of political violence and analyse trends in terrorism in other regions in the globe. This conference was meant to create awareness, acquire professional knowledge, increase preparedness and plan for the future to tackle terrorism.”
“Odisha is in a good position in terms of violence. It has reduced significantly,” he added.
Stressing the need to understand the nature of the problem before setting out to solve it, Prof LaFree said; “My sense is that, if we want to reduce the negative effects of political violence, one of the things that we need to do is to understand it better. That’s the beginning. First we need to understand the problem before we can come up with ways of mitigating the negatives effects it has on society.”
“We are trying to treat terrorism and political violence as a scientific object of study. We are trying to come up with the science of why people get involved, why groups sometimes thrive for some years, why they disappear, what impact does political violence have on society, how can we try to reduce the amount of violence, how can we rebuild the community after it has been attacked etc,” said professor LaFree.
“We are actually a research consortium and it has about 15 universities in the USA and 12 other countries. We are talking to Indian researchers, professionals and so on to see if there is some interest in India in coming up with some research program like this,” said the renowned professor giving more insight on his visit and the conference.
The Conference was attended by more than 30 senior police officers of the state including Odisha Police DG Sanjeev Marik and Crime Branch ADG Bijay Kumar Sharma.