2 more BSF battalions to be deployed in Maoists’ base
Two more battalions of Border Security Force (BSF) will be deployed to augment the anti-Naxal operations in Odisha which has lost more than 400 civilians and security personnel in Maoist violence since 2001.
The Unified Command, which takes a call on the anti-Maoist strategies to be adopted by the State, met here on Saturday and discussed the latest challenges and action plan.
Currently, six battalions of BSF, eight battalions of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and one Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) are deployed in the State.
The Centre, which responded to the State’s demand for two more battalions, has chosen to send in BSF which will be positioned in Southern Odisha where the Maoists hold sway.
The Command, chaired by Chief Secretary B K Patnaik, also discussed re-deployment of the existing Central para military forces in the State. More CPMF units will be mobilised in Western Odisha where new pockets of Maoist stronghold have emerged in recent times.
As more parts of Bargarh, Balangir and Nuapada have thrown up Maoist incidences, both civil and armed police will be strengthened, it was decided at the meeting. It was attended by Development Commission J K Mohapatra, DGP Prakash Mishra and Director (Intelligence) Abhay among others.
In fact, Nuapada, which adjoins Chhattisgarh, is now among the worst affected districts. In the last two years, 17 incidences of Naxal violence have already claimed as many lives in Nuapada. The district is now behind Malkangiri and Koraput in terms of this dubious distinction.
According to available statistics, between 2001 and 2012, as many as 402 lives have been lost in Maoist violence in the State. Of it, 199 are civilians, 174 are jawans and 29 are securitymen in the officer rank.
Southern-most district Malkangiri continues to be the heartland where 139 persons, including 74 jawans, have lost their lives in Maoist violence. It includes 48 civilians and 17 security personnel in the officer rank. Koraput follows closely with loss of 93 lives in the 12-year period. Rayagada, Gajapati, Nuapada, Kandhamal and Sundargarh saw frequent Maoist operations.
In the last two years, there was no dip in violence in Malkangiri despite heavy presence of security personnel. As many as 56 incidences of Naxal violence were reported from the district in 2011 and 2012. During the same period, Koraput reported 43 Maoist incidents.