By Amresh Srivastava
New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS): Madhya Pradesh Director General of Police, V.K. Johri, said on Thursday that there has been no increase in Maoist footprints in the state.
Talking exclusively to IANS, he said that the Mandla district has been classified under the 'District of Concern' category because of the movement of 'Vistar Dalam' of Maoists from Chhattisgarh recently, but they were not able to muster support from the locals.
"They are also unable to hire local youth in their cadre here as the state police have taken effective measures to prevent their movement in the state, including encounters," Johri said.
Talking about the Dindori district, the DGP said that it has been included in the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme because the state administration wanted to fortify the police stations and other security set ups in the district to prevent the ultras from making inroads in these areas.
Admitting that Maoist movement along the MP-Chhattisgarh border areas is a matter of concern for the state, he said that the police force is capable enough to handle the security situation.
Under the SRE scheme, the Centre reimburses the bulk of the expenditure incurred by the Maoist-hit states, including ex-gratia payment to civilians and security personnel killed by the ultras, besides the expenses on mobility, logistics and communication and also for the ammunition used for operations against the ultras by the Central paramilitary and police forces.
Till 2018, only Balaghat was listed under the Maoist-affected district category in the state. Recently, the Mandla district was included in the list of ‘Districts of Concern' whereas Balaghat was upgraded as a ‘most affected district', among the top 25 districts in the country.
Balaghat, Mandla and Dindori are adjoining districts which fall in a straight line along the MP-Chhattishgarh border, which is also known as the ‘north corridor' where the Maoists' Vistar Dalam (meaning extension) from Chhattisgarh used to visit to muster support of the local population and hire youth into their cadre.
The Vistaar Dalam came up after the Maoists started losing control of territory in south Chhattisgarh and decided to explore new areas for operations.
But the better infrastructure developments executed in these areas have left a good impression on the local population, while the youth too have been alienated from their ideology, an official privy to the developments said on condition of anonymity.
The areas of operation of Vistar Dalam have been Balaghat, Mandla and Dindori on the MP side, Kawardha and Rajnandgaon on the Chhattisgarh side, and Gadchiroli on the Maharashtra side.