Odisha police may boycott anti-Naxal ops if Maoists released

Mad Indian

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[url=http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Odisha-police-to-govt-We-will-boycott-anti-Naxal-ops-if-Maoists-are-released/articleshow/12599307.cms]Odisha police to govt: We will boycott anti-Naxal ops if Maoists are released - The Times of India[/URL]

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha's police force on Monday threatened to boycott anti-Naxal operations if hardcore Maoists are freed by the state government in a bid to end the twin hostage crisis which escalated with the abductors setting new demands before their deadline expires on Tuesday.

Adding to the woes of the government, the Odisha Police Association(OPA) warned it will skip duties in Naxal affected areas while making it clear it will oppose "tooth and nail" any move to set free hardcore Maoists like Chenda Bhusanam alias Ghasi, an accused in the killing of at least 55 security personnel.

With the abductors of MLA Jhina Hikaka and Italian Paolo Bosusco placing new demands, an early release of the duo also appeared uncertain.

While the release of the Laxmipur BJD MLA became uncertain with the Maoists demanding immediate swap with 30 prisoners, another group of Naxals holding the Italian tour guide asked the state government to clarify how many ultras it would free.

As the deadline set by both the groups for meeting their demands ends on Tuesday, the state government sought opinion of the police on the release of hardcore Maoists, including Bhusanam , as sought by the abductors.

"We will oppose tooth and nail any move to free hardcore Maoists. If necessary, we will launch a vigorous agitation to prevent their release," OPA President Sawarmal Sharma told reporters.

If the situation warrants, the police personnel would be forced to pull out of anti-Maoist operations and boycott duty in the Naxal-affected areas, Sharma said, adding sacrifices made by police would go in vain if hardcore ultras are freed. The state government is weighing various options on any release of the ultras.

"We have sought opinion of the police on whether the fresh demands made by abductors of the MLA can be met," chief secretary B K Patnaik told reporters here, adding the legal aspects need to be verified before taking any decision.

A day after the Maoists holding the 37-year-old MLA hostage asked his wife to reach a village in Koraput district tomorrow along with 30 freed prisoners for release of Hikaka, the state government today remained tight-lipped on the issue.

In a letter to the media on Monday night, Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of Maoists not only sought immediate release of more prisoners, but also their physical presence for the MLA's release.

The ultras wanted Hikaka's wife Kaushalya to reach Balipeta in the Naxal-hit Narayanpatna area tomorrow along with 30 rebels, including 23 people whose release the Odisha government had decided to facilitate and seven more rebels.

The letter said the MLA's wife should also be accompanied by two Naxal-nominated mediators -- B D Sharma and Dandapani Mohanty -- engaged in the Italian hostage crisis and Koraput-based lawyer Nihar Ranjan Patnaik.

One of the Maoist-nominated mediators B D Sharma had, meanwhile, left the state capital for Delhi.

The Maoists said they would hand over the abducted MLA to them, provided they do not bring along any police or intelligence official.

The letter came a day after the Maoists extended the deadline for fulfilment of their demands till April 10. They had initially fixed April 5 as deadline and then extended it till April 7.

As the the twin-hostage crises turned murkier, Opposition Congress and BJP hit out at the BJD government accusing it of failing to resolve the issue.

While Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik dubbed the government as "ineffective and weak", BJP leader B B Harichandan accused it of failing to work in the larger interest of the people:lol::lol:.
The Govt seems to lack the balls which even the Police have:doh:
 

utubekhiladi

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what happened to do not negotiate with terrorist policy?
 

lupgain

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I think Odisha govt should adopt no negotiation policy
 

ejazr

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I can totally understand the pov of the Orissa police.

We don't seem to have any crisis managers and proper hostage negotiaters. These maoists should know that release of rebels is not an option. And in this case, there is only 1 MLA who is a hostage.

This seems a repeat of the J&K situation in 1989 when rebels there had kidnapped the Home ministers's daughter and wanted ultras released in exchange for her. The Orissa govt. should not fall for this tactic and up the ante by saying that if the MLA and other hostages are harmed or killed; that those areas would be notified under DDA and AFSPA will be applied to that region with the full force of the state going after them
 

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Why the Indian soft state is losing the war to the Maoists | Firstpost

For days now, Maoists in Odisha have been keeping the state government on tenterhooks with their demands for the release of their comrades in return for the two hostages they hold. And just when the Naveen Patnaik government appeared to have completely capitulated to the 'ransom' demand, the Maoists have gone ahead and raised the stakes, with demands for yet more releases.

Unless the Maoists are cussed about it, the crisis will likely resolve itself at the right equilibrium of prisoners released to secure the release of the hostages. Thirty prisoners for an MLA may seem like a lopsided swap, but to a government that is negotiating at gunpoint, in an environment of policy opacity in such matters at the national level, no price is too high to secure the release of hostages. Particularly when there isn't a political price to be paid for such surrender.

On virtually every occasion (barring one notable exception, about which more below) that the Indian state has found itself in hostage situations, it has buckled under pressure, and shown itself up to be a soft state.

That's not to say that a government in such a situation doesn't face a dilemma, one that involves making decisions on which lives hinge. It's borderline disingenuous to thunder and demand that governments adopt a policy of never negotiating with terrorists; that's easier said from the sidelines.

Yet, what compromises the Indian state's ability to negotiate from a position of reasonable strength in such situations — and skews the equation overwhelmingly in favour of the terrorists — is that it lacks the sting to signal any hard power at all.

There are instances when even the most relentlessly uncompromising governments yield ground in hostage situations. Last year, the Israeli government, which for many represents the 'gold standard' in dealing ruthlessly with terrorists, negotiated the release of one of its soldiers who had been held hostage by Palestinian militants for five years. In return it released over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, many of whom were involved in vile terrorist attacks on Israel. That swap left Israelis wondering if they'd perhaps paid too high a price.

But what such terrorists-per-hostage calculations overlook is that Israel relentlessly goes after the released prisoners and in most cases recaptures them. In every other way too, Israeli power projection conveys a very strong signal that acts as a shield against further attacks or abductions.

In India, however, governments at both the Central and state levels have failed abysmally to project that hard power that puts the fear of retribution in those who wage war on the state. If they were able to credibly summon up that power, hostage negotiations would be rendered somewhat more advantageous for governments because the back-channel intermediaries would be able to convey the message on behalf of a determined state that it will come after the terrorists – even after the swap has been carried out.

Only once did the Indian state signal its uncompromising stand in the face of a hostage situation, but since that episode ended in a tragedy, political leaders have derived the wrong message from it.

That notable exception happened in 1984, when Kashmiri separatists in Birmingham abducted Ravindra Mhatre, an Indian diplomat in the UK, and sought the release of their leader Maqbool Butt, who was awaiting execution in Delhi. The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi refused to negotiate with the terrorists; Mhatre was killed, upon which Butt was promptly hanged. And although India, and the diplomat's family paid a high price in that instance, it at least established something of a policy that the Indian state stood for. (More here.)

Contrast that with the feckless surrender of the VP Singh government in 1989, which within days of coming to power was confronted by the embarrassing abduction of Union Home Minister PM Sayeed's daughter Rubaiya Sayeed in Kashmir. Again, it capitulated by releasing jailed terrorists; it marked a defining moment, when the majesty of the Indian state stood crushed by the terrorists, and provided a big boost to the morale of the separatist movement – and claimed many thousands more innocent lives over the decades.

The low point for the Indian state in hostage situations came in 1999, when Jaswant Singh, a minister in the NDA government, accompanied three dreaded terrorists to Kandahar and released them in return for the release of the passengers on board Indian Airlines IC 814, which had been hijacked by the Pakistan-based Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. That episode highlighted the price we paid in the absence of a crisis management strategy: the Indian security establishment lost out on the opportunity to immobilise the aircraft when it landed in Amritsar for refuelling.

Since then, no government has had the spine to stand up to terrorists and Maoist abductors, although the attacks and abductions have only escalated in intensity. But what compounds that cowardice in dealing with the Maoist threat is the lack of clarity within the government on what their objectives are.

Long after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in an unusual expression of candour, flagged the Maoist threat as perhaps the country's biggest security challenge, leaders like Digvijaya Singh were sniping at Home Minister P Chidambaram's counter-insurgency strategy. And more extreme commentators like Arundhati Roy have gone so far as to justify violence by Maoists, whom she referred to, without any sense of irony, as "Gandhians with guns".

Schizophrenia in policy making is downright dangerous when you are dealing with those who are waging war on the state, and who dream of unfurling the red flag at the Red Fort. It renders the Indian state softer than it already is, and accounts for why it is losing ground to the Maoists.

What the leaders — at both the Central and state levels — need is a Gitopadesha, a sermon, like the one that Krishna gave Arjuna. 'War' is of course unpleasant, particularly when it is waged on one's own people. But there are some situations — such as this — in which it is the duty of a leader to wage war, however unpleasant it may be.
 

sob

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Good steps taken by the cops. The Orissa CM is ready to buckle under pressure from the Maoists and all those cops who have lost their lives battling against these Maoists.
In fact Naveen Patnaik should trade places with the Italian hostage and we can then close the chapter.
 
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KS

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Good move @ Orissa police.

Hope they stand tough in their stance.
 

nitesh

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Good time, our people in uniform capture these terrorists by putting there life in danger. It seems there life has no value at all.
 

sob

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The local Govt. has come out as a soft target to the Naxals and they will continue to increase the pressure and keep on changing their demands. We need another SS ray to finish off this problem.
 

lcatejas

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Good job from Police .. take a lesson for next time ... No arrest only encounter.....:thumb:
 

ALBY

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Maoist leader's wife freed, Odisha hostage crisis continues

Bhubaneswar: An Italian and an Odisha legislator continued to be in the custody of Maoists Tuesday even as a top rebel's wife - whose release from jail had been demanded as one of the conditions to set free the hostages - was acquitted by a court. While the Maoist deadline for the government to meet their demands neared Tuesday evening, Subhashree Das, the wife of rebel leader Sabyasachi Panda, was released by a fast court in Gunpur in Rayagada district, about 250 km from here.

She was acquitted in a 2003 shootout case for lack of evidence, officials said. Subhashree was accused of involvement in the exchange of fire between Maoists and police in Kutingaguda area of the district in 2003.

Her release was sought by the rebels in exchange for Italian Bosusco Paolo who has been held captive by the Maoists since last month. Her husband was behind last month's abduction of Bosusco and another Italian, who was later released.

After her release, however, Subhashree said the government did not have any role in her release. "I was saying from the beginning that I am innocent. Now it has been proved," she told reporters in Gunpur.

Praising her husband for serving the poor and peasants, she said Sabyasachi was a friend, guide and philosopher for her even though he had to stay away from her. Subhashree was also apprehensive that police may arrest her again in 'false cases'.

Subhashree, also known as Mili, is one of several prisoners whose freedom was sought by the Maoists group led by her husband in exchange for the release of Paolo.

There was no official word on whether the state government facilitated her release. Sabyasachi is also yet to respond on his wife's release.

Although some believe the release of Subhashree may pave way for the release of the Italian, the fate of Biju Janata Dal legislator Jhina Hikaka who has been kept hostage by another group of rebels since March 24 continued to remain in the dark.

While Paolo was abducted by the Odisha unit of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) from Kandhamal district, Hikaka was kidnapped by the Andhra-Odisha border special zonal committee from Koraput district.

Both the groups were more or less making the same demands, which include a ban on tourism in tribal areas, a halt on the state's operations against Maoists, and the release of several prisoners.

The state government a few days ago announced it would facilitate the release of 23 prisoners, including eight Maoists, to secure the release of Hikaka, and four other prisoners in exchange for the release of the Italian.

But the kidnappers of the legislator and the Italian insisted that the government release five and three prisoners respectively, in addition to what the government has announced.

Manorama Online | Maoist leader's wife freed, Odisha hostage crisis continues
 

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