Even as the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday began its probe into the killing of top Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh by Naxals on Saturday, Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh, Intelligence Bureau Director S.A. Ibrahim and other senior Home Ministry officials, it is learnt, would visit the State on Tuesday to review the situation and review security preparedness with State government officials.
The Home Ministry has issued an advisory to all nine left-wing extremism (LWE) affected States — Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar — asking them to revamp security of political workers and appoint nodal officers to coordinate political programmes to avert similar attacks by Maoists.
Asserting that such a massive attack on senior political leaders in Chhattisgarh was a new strategy adopted by Naxals that needs to be addressed on priority basis, the advisory said: “The level of mainstream political activities in these States will increase. Hence, there is a continuing possibility of more attacks on political personalities and programmes. There is an urgent need to factor this into the security architecture of all the states concerned.”
With at least four LWE-hit States — Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh — going to the polls in next one year and general election scheduled for mid-2014, the Home Ministry and security agencies are worried that Maoists could carry out similar attacks, and hence want all political programmes to be well-coordinated between parties and various security agencies.
“It is advised that a nodal officer be appointed at the Police Headquarters to coordinate programmes of all political parties. He should also coordinate with field formations on security related matters including security arrangement for rallies, protection along route, carcade plan and enhanced security for persons with high threat perceptions,” the advisory added.
The Home Ministry has told the States that in political programmes, the Superintendents of Police should issue written orders on all aspects of security plan, conduct rehearsals, and the DIG Police and IG Police of the respective ranges should act similarly when programmes cut across districts. “The idea is to provide the best possible security to facilitate mainstream political activities in these areas to the extent possible. The nodal officer can also advise political parties on the security situation in a particular area,” it added.