Maharashtra to give district officers arrest power for curbing Naxal menace
To tighten its noose on Naxalites, the Maharashtra government is set to introduce a new law to give special powers to the superintendent of police and district collector in Naxal-affected districts. The law will be applicable on any people found favouring Naxalites through speech or distribution of literature among other things. Inspired by the recent law in Chhattisgarh, the home department is currently studying its draft to form a similar law here. “In all probability, we will be able to send it to the cabinet in the next 15 days and bring it to assembly in the monsoon session. At present, it is with the legal committee,” home secretary KP Bakshi told dna.
Sources claimed the law will have provisions similar to those of Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Act and Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act that empower government officials at the district level to arrest those involved in anti-national activities. Like in these Acts, the new law will give officials the right to arrest the accused for the first three days and later for 21 days with the permission of the additional chief secretary of the Home department.
Odisha to seek two more battalions of central armed forces to tackle Maoist activities
BHUBANESWAR: Despite the claim of improvement in leftwing extremism (LWE) situation, the state government would seek two more battalions of central armed forces to tackle the Maoist situation in Odisha. It was decided in the unified command meeting held here under the chairmanship of chief secretary A P Padhi. “We would request the state government to seek two more battalions of any central armed forces like Boarder Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force, Sashastra Seema Bal and Indo Tibetan Border Police,” said a senior police officer requesting anonymity.
Currently the Centre has deployed total 17 battalions of central armed police forces including eight each battalions of CRPF and Boarder Security Force and one battalion of Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA), a specialized unit of the CRPF in the state to tackle the LWE situation. The state government deployed state police and district voluntary force besides deputation of central forces.
Though details of the meeting were kept under wrap, sources said the state government along with top officers of BSF, CRPF and intelligence bureau chalked action plan to deal with the situation. “It was discussed to have coordination between forces deployed in two adjoining states as Maoists shift their base to neighboring states when there was operation from one side. Besides, emphasis was also laid on timely sharing of intelligence inputs, coordination between state and central forces and strategies to win confidence of local people in LWE areas,” the top cop said.
Since the LWE situation is still challenging in districts like Malkangiri, Koraput, Nuapada, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Balangir, Nayagarh, Rourkela and Bargarh, more forces are likely to be deployed in these districts.

The situation, however, improved in districts like Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Myurbhanj, Gajapati, Ganjam, Nabarangapur, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Sundargarh. In 2015, total 72 LWE related incidents were reported in the state involving death of 26 civilians, four security personnel and nine hardcore LWE cadres. During the period, total 53 LWE cadres were arrested and 255 weapons and 168 improvised explosive devices and large quantity of explosives were recovered. Total 64 LWE cadres/militias surrendered in the state in 2015.

TN cops, foresters to join hands with K’taka to combat Maoists
Erode: Police and forest officials of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have decided to conduct joint search in the forests to curb Maoist intrusion. They convened a meeting at Hasanur near Sathyamangalam in Erode district regarding this issue

Tough anti-Maoist bill likely to be tabled in monsoon session
The state government is likely to table a stringent anti-Maoist bill in the upcoming monsoon session to rein in the ultras in four districts: Gadchiroli, Bhandara, Gondia and Chandrapur. The proposed law envisages sweeping powers for district authorities, including the right to arrest Maoist suspects for the first three days without seeking permission from the state government and later for 21 days with the permission of the additional chief secretary of the home department, an official said.
It aims to empower the superintendent of police and district collectors to arrest people involved in Maoist activities, including the distribution of the literature. The ambit and provisions of the proposed law are likely to be similar to that of Chhattisgarh. Oddly, the decision to table the bill comes on the heels of claims by the home department that there has been a steady decline in Maoist activities owing to development work and security strategies in the so-called red-corridor districts.
The home department expects the new law will be more effective. “The law will have the provisions similar to that of Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling (COFEPOSA) and Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act (MPDA), which empowers government officials at the district level to arrest people involved in anti-national activities,” said the official. KP Bakshi, additional chief secretary, home department, said that the government was likely to table the bill in the monsoon session after the state cabinet’s nod. He also added that the government would soon announce a 5% reservation in government jobs to the families, affected by Maoist activities.