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News & Views on the Revolutionary Left

Feb 6:Black Day in the history of Koraput

JEYPORE: For the residents and police of Koraput, February 6 is a black day. Naxal mayhem in the district on this day three years ago left the entire nation shocked.

The bloodshed, loot and killings by Naxals on February 6, 2004 forced the government agencies to strategise the action plan for fighting Maoists and modernising the police administration to deal with Naxal activities.

On the fateful day, over 100 hardcore Maoists along with their supporters attacked the police armoury, jail, bank and five police stations in Koraput, Laxmipur, Narayanpatana and blasted a CRPF police vehicle near Kolab Nagar. In the attack, 10 policemen were killed, 20 injured and police property, including Arms and ammunitions worth over Rs 100 crore, destroyed.

According to sources, police and intelligence agencies had an idea about the probability of Naxal attack. Government later admitted its failure in dealing with the situation.The black day, however, worked well for the district police as steps were immediately taken for modernising the police administration and training police officials in fighting Naxals.

Police sources said for the last three years, over Rs 100 crore has been spent on modernisation of police in Koraput as well as neighboring Malkangiri and Rayagada where Naxal presence is equally felt.

In these three years, 20 sensitive police stations were fortified, two special battalions were set up for fighting Naxals, a special intelligence wing was created, modern arms and ammunition, including AK-47, were introduced and police stations were upgraded.

Police sources said after the incident, police agencies spread intelligence networks in and outside the State to keep a tab on movements of Maoists.“Government also announced special benefits for police officers working in Naxal-hit areas.

There were a lot of changes in the police functioning after the incident. The cops are now in an advanced position to deal with such a situation,” said B B Mishra, a senior IPS and former DIG of Sunabeda.

Remarkably, for the last three years no Naxalite violence has been recorded in Koraput due to alertness of police officials whereas neighbouring Malkangiri and Rayagada districts have recorded about 20 small and big Naxalite attacks so far.

On Tuesday, when some Naxalite supporters of Narayanpatana, Bandhugam in Koraput celebrated the day, senior police officials of Naxal districts met at Rayagada and reviewed the Naxal-related strategy, sources said.


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posted by Bimal 7.2.07,


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