Determined to finish Maoist presence from Swabhiman Anchal: DGP

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Malkangiri (Odisha), Nov 8 (PTI) Odisha Police on Sunday said the state government was determined to completely eliminate the Maoist presence from the 'Swabhiman Anchal' in Malkangiri district.

Odisha DGP Abhay said this after a visit to the Gurasetu BSF Company Operating Base (COB), recently set up in the Maoist hotbed of Malkangiri district.

The security personnel have set up at least seven COBs in the Swabiman Anchal, considered as the safe fort of red rebels mostly operating in the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh border.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has re-named the Cut-Off area encircled by water in the three sides and dense forest on another connecting to Andhra Pradesh, as Swabhiman Anchal.

Patnaik had also inaugurated Gurupriya Bridge connecting Swabhiman Anchal to rest of the state, which now helped the police to set up camps in the Maoist den.

'We are determined to finish the Maoist influence in Swabhiman Anchal. Therefore, the presence of security personnel are required to boost the confidence of the local residents. We have set up COBs in different places,' Abhay told reporters at the district headquarters town here after a review of the Left Wing Extremism in the district.

Apart from Odisha Police, senior officers of BSF also attended the review meeting to chalk out a strategy for complete elimination of LWEs from Malkangiri, which continued to remain as a point of challenge for the state.

In a bid to end the Maoist influence in the area, the DGP said roads, telecommunication towers, schools, health centres and anganwadi centres are being developed in Swabiman Anchal. 'We will ensure that the development in the real sense reach the people of cut-off area,' Abhay said.

The DGP also reiterated his appeal to the Maoists to come forward and surrender before the police as the government is determined to develop the area. 'We have a lucrative surrender and rehabilitation policy for the surrendered Maoists. They get cash for doing business, training to start their own units and other facilities. They should take the benefit from the state governments good gesture for them,' he said.

Admitting that the Maoists are the major hurdles before development in the cut-off area, the DGP said efforts are on to ensure that the local residents get all sorts of facilities like health, education and livelihood.

Abhay also met the local tribals during his visit to the Gurasetu COB and distributed blankets, school uniforms, bags and other essentials to the villagers. 'The people want development and they have sought schools, hospitals and anganwadi centres in their locality,' he said.

Asked about the people living under constant threat of attack from the rebels, Abhay said: 'We have a huge presence of security personnel across the Swabhiman Anchal.' Senior officials including the Director, Intelligence RK Sharma, IG, Operation Amitabh Thakur, BSF IG MS Sharma and DIG, South-western Range Shafin Ahmed accompanied the DGP. PTI COR AAM RG RG