Odisha asks MHA to remove 5 Maoist-affected districts from SRE list
Abhay, director-general of police (DGP), Odisha, said the MHA has been urged to take off the names of Angul, Boudh, Sambalpur, Deogarh, and Nayagarh districts.Updated: Jul 11, 2020 14:59 IST
Odisha has recommended to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to take off the names of five Left-wing-extremist (LWE)-hit districts from the Centre’s consolidated list of Communist Party of India (CPI) (Maoist)-affected districts for which the state receives funds under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme.
Abhay, director-general of police (DGP), Odisha, said the MHA has been urged to take off the names of Angul, Boudh, Sambalpur, Deogarh, and Nayagarh districts, as the Maoist violence has been on the wane in the state and more rebels are also laying down their arms because of an intensified bid by the security forces to crush the internal rebellion.
If the MHA pays heed to the Naveen Patnaik-led government’s plea, then 10 out of 30 districts in the state will remain under the SRE scheme.
The Central scheme supplements the efforts of the Maoist-affected states by reimbursing the expenditures incurred by them for anti-Naxal activities.
Under the SRE scheme, assistance is provided for recurring expenditures relating to insurance, training, and operational needs of security forces and also for Maoist cadres, who lay down their arms, in line with the surrender and rehabilitation policy of respective state governments.
Initially, the scheme was launched in April 1996 and later revised in February 2005, covering 76 districts across the country.
“The Maoists have taken a massive hit and are on the retreat. The surrender figures convey this trend. Last year and this year to date, 13 and 19 Maoist rebels have surrendered, respectively,” said DGP Abhay, days after five Naxals, including a state committee member, who carried a reward of Rs 20 lakh on his head, were gunned down.
Kosa Sodi alias Sukru, a member of Odisha State Committee of the CPI (Maoist), was killed in an encounter with police in the dense forests of Kandhamal district last Sunday.
Nayagarh, one of the five districts that may lose its LWE-hit district tag soon, hit the headlines in 2008, when Maoists had carried out their biggest-ever arms heist from the district police armoury. The rebels had looted hundreds of automatic rifles and magazines in a bid to boost their firepower.
By the turn of the new millennium, the Maoist dominance started gathering momentum.
And, the rebels held sway in the state’s 22 out of 30 districts by 2010. The internal rebellion intensified until 2015, when Odisha reported an unprecedented level of violence and loss of lives and property, as the Maoists targeted government installations and security forces with impunity.
Abhay said the situation in Swabhiman Anchal area of Malkangiri district, considered to be the hotbed for LWE activities, has improved significantly over the past few years.
Two police camps have been set up at Hantalguda and Darlaguda.
Besides, a new police station has been set up at Jodaamba, the DGP added.