State to enhance anti-Red strength

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By SUBHASHISH MOHANTY AND AMULYA PATI
  • Published 16.01.11
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Bhubaneswar/Jajpur, Jan. 15: The state government today decided to enhance the strength of Special Operation Group (SOG) and district voluntary force (DVF) which have been engaged in anti-Maoist operations across the state.

The development today came in the wake of surrender of five Maoists, including one teenage girl, in Jajpur district. The state’s anti-Maoist drive has yielded results with at least 16 rebels being killed over the past fortnight and several of them giving up arms.

Sources said while the number of SOG units in the state would go up from present 50 to 100, the DVF units, currently operating in 11 districts, would be established in all the Maoists-hit districts of the state. At least 17 districts of the state are hit by Maoist activities.

“We will increase the strength of SOG. We have also reviewed the law and order problem in Maoists-hit areas,” said chief minister Naveen Patnaik after chairing a high-level meet at the state secretariat here today.

During the past fifteen days, police killed 16 Maoists in different parts of the state, including Tamaka in Jajpur and Rebana in Keonjhar districts. The success has also forced a large number of radicals to lay down arms.

Sources said during the meet director general of police (DGP) Manmohan Praharaj mooted the proposal to enhance the strength of the SOG and DVF.

The state government had raised its own anti-Naxalite force following Centre’s advice not to depend too heavily on paramilitary forces. The state government has also decided to strengthen the intelligence network. “We are taking preventive steps and succeeding because of reliable intelligence inputs. People who once supported the rebels have now turned in our favour,” said home secretary U.N. Behera.

He said that five battalions of BSF, seven battalions of CRPF and 50 units of SOG apart from OSAP and India Reserve Battalion jawans were engaged in the anti-Maoists operation.

In Japur, five Maoists today surrendered before the district superintendent of police D Kuttey.

They have been identified as Suresh alias Swaraj Hembram (24), his wife Lata alias Dunguri Tiria (21) of Kaliapani village, Bijay alias Sanatan Mahakuda (20) of Kaliapani, Tirchy Tudu (18) of Malkangiri and Sanjay alias Seley (13).

While Hembram was working as Area committee member of Kalinga Nagar division of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), his wife and others were working as members of the rebel outfit, the SP said.

“Today afternoon, five Maoists including a juvenile and an area committee member who were active in Kalinganagar divisional committee surrendered before me. They were active since 2007 in armed Naxalite squads and we suspect their involvement in a number of violent incidents,” Kuttey said.

“They have committed several crimes, including attacks on police stations, arson and burning of vehicles,” the SP told The Telegraph. This is the second surrender of Maoists in the state within a week. Earlier, five minor girls engaged in Maoist activities had given up arms in Keonjhar district on January 7.

Bhubaneswar/Jajpur, Jan. 15: The state government today decided to enhance the strength of Special Operation Group (SOG) and district voluntary force (DVF) which have been engaged in anti-Maoist operations across the state.

The development comes in the wake of surrender of five Maoists including one teenage girl in Jajpur district today where five rebels were killed in an encounter with the security forces about two weeks ago. The anti-Maoist drive of the government has yielded results with at least 16 rebels being killed over the pat fortnight and several of them giving up arms.

Sources said while the number of SOG units in the state would go up from present 50 to 100 the DVF units, currently operating in only 11 districts, would be established in all the Maoists-hit districts of the state. At least 17 districts of the state are hit by Maoist activities.

“ We will increase the strength of SOG. We have also reviewed the law and order problem in Maoists-hit areas,” said chief minister Naveen Patnaik after chairing a high-level meeting at the State secretariat here today.

The SOG and DVF, raided the camp of a left-wing radicals near Kashipur on January 8 and killed nine Maoists. During the last fifteen days, the police forces killed as many as 16 Maoists in different parts of the State including Tamaka in Jajpur and Rebana in Keonjhar districts. The success of the police has also forced a large n umber of radicals to lay down arms.

Sources said during the meeting at the secretariat Director General of Police (DGP) Manmohan Praharaj mooted the proposal to enhance the strength of the SOG and DVF. The chief minister agreed.

Sources said normally SOG jawan serves in the force till the age of 30 after which they are sent back to their districts and drafted into the DVF. The SOG is a crack force s equipped with the most sophisticated combat weapons.

The state government had raised its own anti-naxalite force following Centre’s advice not to depend too heavily on paramilitary forces. The state government has also decided to strengthen the intelligence network. “ We are taking preventive steps and succeeding because of reliable intelligence inputs. People who once supported the rebels have now turned in our favour,” said home secretary UN Behera..

He said that five battalions of Boarder Security Force (BSF), seven battalions of CRPF and 50 units of SOG besides Orissa State Armed Police (OSAP) and India Reserve Battalion jawans were engaged in the anti-Maoists operation.

In Japur, five Maoists including a teenage girl today surrendered before the district superintendent of police,D..Kuttey. They have been identified as Suresh alias Swaraj Hembram(24), his wife Lata alias Dunguri Tiria (21) of Kaliapani village, Bijay alias Sanatan Mahakuda (20) of Kaliapani, Tirchy Tudu (18) of Malkangiri and Sanjay alias Seley (13).

While Hembram was working as Area committee member of Kalinga Nagar division of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), his wife and others were working as members of the rebel outfit, the SP said.

“Today afternoon, five Maoists including a juvenile and an area committee member who were active in Kalinganagar divisional committee surrendered before me. They were active since 2007 in armed Naxalite squads and we suspect their involvement in a number of violent incidents,". Kuttey said.

“ They have committed several crimes including attacks on police stations, arson and burning of vehicles,” the SP told The Telegraph. This is the second surrender of Maoists in the state within a week. Earlier, five minor girls engaged in Maoist activities had given up arms in Keonjhar district on January 7.