Rattled by the landmine blast triggered by Maoist ultras that killed a BSF jawan and a deputy commandant in Koraput district, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has renewed his call for a determined fight against left-wing extremism asking senior police officers to visit districts at least once a month to inspire confidence among people.
“There is no reason why police leadership cannot counter the inroads made by Maoists into central Odisha.
“I exhort the district SPs and senior officials in the headquarters to fight the menace with renewed enthusiasm and commitment backed by meticulous planning,” Patnaik said while expressing concern over continued Maoist violence in the state and the incursion of the ultras into newer areas like Bolangir, Kalahandi, Kandhmal and Boudh.
Chief minister’s statement came soon after BSF jawan, Sibasish Panda and deputy commandant, Sunil Behera were killed during a combing operation in the Kaliajhula forest of Koraput district.
They also shot dead a local businessman, Bapi Samnata, at Dandabari village.
Patnaik also issued a clear-cut directive to senior police officers to visit districts every month like IAS officers who now regularly monitor districts assigned to them.
“Like senior IAS officers, senior police officers will have to make district visits during the first week of every month regularly.
“Besides inspecting police stations they must visit some of the complainants and assess the performance of police,” said the CM adding that he would personally review the outcome of these visits.
Sources said district visits by senior police officers had become an imperative with Maoist menace assuming serious dimensions in certain areas.
While the ultras are now well entrenched in southern districts like Koraput and Malkangiri, they are constantly trying to make inroads into newer areas.
Besides there is now an enhanced fear of large-scale infiltration of Maoists from Chhatisgarh into Odisha’s border areas.