Andhra Pradesh

‘Operation Parivarthana’ weakens Maoist movement in AOB region

The campaign has destroyed the nexus between the Maoists, ganja cultivators and smugglers, says DGP K. V. Rajendranath Reddy.

The campaign has destroyed the nexus between the Maoists, ganja cultivators and smugglers, says DGP K. V. Rajendranath Reddy.

The extremist activities by the banned CPI (Maoist) in the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) region has been severely hit thanks to the ‘Operation Parivarthana’.

As part of a joint operation, the police of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, in association with the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) which was created to check ganja, illicitly distilled (ID) liquor, non-duty paid liquor (NDPL) and other illegal activities, launched the ‘Operation Parivarthana’ in November last year.

More than 400 teams conducted raids in the forests in the AOB region, the stronghold of the Maoists, and destroyed ganja plantation in 11 mandals. They also cracked the whip on the smuggling of the contraband.

“The special operation has impacted on the Maoist movement in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. Ganja cultivation was among the sources of income for the Maoists,” says a senior police officer involved in the operation. .

Speaking to The Hindu, Director General of Police (DGP) K.V. Rajendranath Reddy says that the ‘Operation Parivarthana’ has destroyed the nexus between the Maoists, ganja cultivators and smugglers.

Enforcement and awareness

“The special drive undertaken to check the illicit trade has hit the Maoist movement hard. We are focusing on enforcement against ganja cultivation and creating awareness among the tribal people on the ill-effects of the contraband,” the DGP says.

Former Maoists also say that the ‘Operation Parivarthana’ has yielded the desired results.

“The operation is a blow to the Maoists. The drive against ganja has cut the financial sources. The police have entered the AOB, gained hold on the cut-off area and destroyed the ganja plantations there, which used to be the main shelter zone for the left wing extremists,” a former Maoist says requesting anonymity.

According to police, thousands of tribal families were engaged in ganja cultivation in the AOB region, and peddlers were supplying the contraband worth crores of rupees to the neighbouring States.

“The Maoist movement is losing steam due to the new surrender and rehabilitation policy, welfare schemes introduced by the government for tribal people, development works undertaken in the Agency areas, poor recruitment of cadres and lack of support from tribal people,” says Mr. Rajendranath Reddy.

During the special drive, ganja plantations in about 7,500 acres worth more than ₹9,000 crore have been destroyed in 313 villages in the AOB region. About 1,500 persons involved in the trade have been arrested and 580 cases have been registered, says an SEB official.

The police, Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB), tribal welfare, agriculture, revenue and the Integrated Tribal Welfare Agency (ITDA), with the cooperation of sarpanches and community heads, have participated in the ‘Operation Parivarthana’.

Drone technology

“We have collected videos recorded by drones and satellite photographs of the AOB region. Officers coordinate with the locals and collect data on ganja growers, mediators and smugglers from different States,” says an SEB official. 

Similar drives have been undertaken in tribal habitations in G.K. Veedhi, G. Madugula, Koraput, Rayagada, Malkangiri, Kandhamal, Boudh, Gajapathi and other places. About 1,950 awareness campaigns, counselling sessions and street plays have been organised,” he adds.

“The police are also conducting awareness programmes by organising kala jathas, taking out rallies and campaigning against ganja cultivation. The police, in association with the Agriculture Department and the ITDA, are promoting alternative livelihood options for the tribal villagers,” adds the DGP.

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Printable version | May 19, 2022 11:49:10 pm |