BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Sunday said it did not have any information on whether the Maoists, who kidnapped Chhattisgarh’s Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon on Saturday, have crossed over to adjacent Malkangiri district and kept him in Kudumuluguma area. Reports are trickling in that the Maoists have sneaked into the safe haven of Malkangiri forests. The inaccessible terrains in Malkangiri will suit the rebels better, sources said.
R Vineel Krishna, the then collector of Malkangiri district, was kidnapped last year by the Maoists from the area while he was attending a jan sampark sibir (outreach camp).
Home Secretary UN Behera told mediapersons that the State Government did not have any information in this regard. He also said all the abductions should not be generalised. The situation in kidnapping of the Sukma collector is different from that of the two recent abductions in Odisha, he said. The latest kidnapping has, however, brought to the fore whether politicians and officials, travelling in the Maoist-affected areas of the State, are following the Home Department advisory or not.
The Home Secretary said officials had been asked to take adequate security and precautionary measures while visiting field and inspecting areas in Red zone. The advisory was despatched to ministers, MLAs, MPs and officials after the abduction of Krishna last year. After that it has been sent twice, the latest was following the kidnapping of BJD legislator from Laxmipur Jhina Hikaka. The MLA was kidnapped by Maoists from Koraput-Laxmipur highway, 2 km from his village, while returning from a meeting at 1 am on March 23.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had directed the Home Department after Hikaka’s abduction to issue the travel advisory again to ministers, MLAs and officials travelling in the Maoist-hit areas.