NEW DELHI: The Union Home Ministry’s strategy of using district collectors as part of the security grid to fight Maoists in Chhattisgarh has put civil administrators in the firing line of the ultras.
Till now, the naxals had only targeted state police machinery and security forces and spared senior civil servants. Perhaps for the first time, the Maoists made their intention clear while justifying the abduction of Sukma district Collector Alex Paul Menon.
Secretary of South Bastar region of CPI (Maoists) said that district collectors were leading the anti-Maoists campaign in the red zone.
In a signed press release emailed to a foreign correspondent on Monday night, Maoist leader Vijay Madkam said that the Home Ministry in September, 2011 held a meeting with Naxal- affected district collectors and asked them to run both anti-Naxal and civic action development programmes.“District collector and Superintendent of Police are part of the unified command which has been formed for anti-Naxal operation,” the Madkam letter said.
“This is a new phenomenon.
In the past Maoists used to abduct junior civil officials to brainwash them and later produce them in ‘jan adalat’.
That was more of a symbolic message but after Vineel Krishna, this second incident rings alarm bells. Civil officials are allowed to access enough security and now it’s time they should comply with the rules,” said a senior government officer on conditions of anonymity.The statement by Maoists also added that the state government was delaying the negotiation talks by questioning the authenticity of tapes sent through the media. “State government will be responsible if anything happens to the Collector,” the letter added.