With Maoists changing their tactics by resorting to abductions of high-profile public figures instead of fighting security forces, Centre is mulling to finalise a uniform policy or at least a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to deal with such situations.
A draft policy or SOPs is likely to emerge soon as the ministry of home affairs is thinking seriously in this direction with home secretary RK Singh already on the job and place it before Union home minister P Chidambaram, sources told DNA. After the recent chief ministers meet on internal security, Chidambaram had acknowledged absence of such a policy. In its absence, states were handling abductions on case-to-case basis.
Till April 22, there have been 56 incidents in which 88 persons have been abducted of which 11 have been killed by the CPI (Maoist). The bulk of 51 incidents have happened four states - Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Bihar in which 84 persons have been abducted and 9 have been killed.
In 2011, 329 person were abducted and 64 were killed, while in 2010, 490 person were abducted and 64 killed. Most of the killed by Maoists generally have been combatant policemen or low value targets like alleged police informers.
“But the new developing trend the Maoist seem to be going against their own stated policy by targeting and abducting non-combatants like the collectors or the tribal MLAs. This is a disturbing trend,” sources said.
For now, the Centre has sent an express advisory to all the nine Maoist-affected states asking them to instruct all civil servants, public representatives and other possible targets for Maoists, like foreigners and officials of companies engaged in mining not to move in Maoist dominated areas, without security and prior intelligence inputs and inform the local police station in advance.