Home India News Orissa’s anti-Maoist drive will not trouble innocents: Police

Orissa’s anti-Maoist drive will not trouble innocents: Police


Bhubaneswar: The security forces involved in an offensive against Maoist guerrillas in Orissa are being trained to ensure that innocent people are not affected during the crackdown, a senior police officer said Saturday.

“We are taking care that innocents do not face trouble during the operations,” Deputy Inspector General of Police Sanjeeb Panda told IANS over phone from Koraput district.

He was responding to apprehensions of some tribal groups that innocents will be the worst affected in the operations.

“We are providing a one-week induction programme to the forces in batches during which we are giving them all information about Maoists operating in the state,” he said.

“We are also informing them about the local culture,” he added.

Thousands of tribals Friday staged protests in state’s Malkangiri district demanding a halt to the anti-Maoist operations, saying that innocents will be caught in the cross-fire.

“Tribals depend on forest and they will not be able to go there to collect forest produce during the operations,” said Ramarao Majhi, a tribal leader who led a rally in the district headquarters of Malkangiri, some 620 km from here.

Maoists are active in more than half of state’s 30 districts. At least six southwestern districts are considered their stronghold, police said.

Five battalions of paramilitary forces comprising about 5,000 personnel have arrived in the state over the past weeks for operation “Green Hunt” to regain control of area dominated by the rebels, police said.

The crackdown against the Communist Party of India-Maoist started in Malkangiri, Koraput and Rayagada districts early this week. Deployment of forces is on in Ganjam, Gajapati and Kandhamal districts, police said.