Chhattisgarh had intelligence on Maoists’ abduction plan

February 17th, 2011 - 6:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Feb 17 (IANS) A day before Orissa Maoists abducted a district collector Wednesday, the police chief of neighbouring Chhattisgarh had warned his state’s chief secretary, on the basis of intelligence, of rebels’ plan to kidnap senior civil and administrative officials. Vishwa Ranjan, director general of police (DGP) of one of India’s states worst hit by Leftist insurgency, had in a letter Feb 15 to Chhattisgarh Chief Secretary P. Joy Oommen conveyed the latest intelligence reports that Maoists are desperately looking for “soft targets” and they can go in for abduction of top civil and administrative officials, sources at police headquarters here told IANS.

Ranjan wrote that the district collectors and other officials should be advised not to “take their security lightly and must visit forested areas or rebel strongholds with enhanced security”.

They should also inform top police officials of the district about their visit, sources said.

Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer R. Veenel Krishna, the district collector of Malkangiri in Orissa, was kidnapped from the Chitrakonda area along with junior engineer Pabitra Mohan Majhi by about six Maoists Wednesday evening.

Ranjan had highlighted his concern in the letter about ignorance of security measures by civil and administrative officials of Maoist-hit districts and asserted that “casual approach of officials towards their security might help Maoists to target them”, sources said.

The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has about 50,000 cadres in Chhattisgarh, with roughly 10,000 of them having access to rocket launchers, mortars and AK-47S, according to official sources.

Maoists run a de facto government in the state’s vast jungle pockets mainly in the southern Bastar region which is spread over about 40,000 sq km of area.

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