ANI Photo | Odisha will be Naxal-free in next 1-2 years: says BSF IG Dhirendra Kumar

Border Security Force (BSF) Inspector General Dhirendra Kumar shared insights into the persistent efforts to eliminate Naxalism in Odisha. Highlighting the progress made since BSF’s induction in 2010, he expressed confidence in ending this menace within the next one and a half years.
“When BSF was first inducted in 2010, the worst affected districts were Koraput and Malkangiri so it took time to make them naxal-free. After we achieved our task at Koraput the state government de-inducted BSF from Koraput and now to go all out for the remnants of the Naxals in Odisha that is in Kalahandi and Kandamal, 2 battalions of BSF have been inducted in Kandamal. And the way things are going we hope to end this menace in the next one and a half couple years” BSF IG Dhirendra Kumar said.
Comparing the 2019 and 2023 classifications, Kumar revealed a notable improvement.
“As per the last classification of naxal-affected districts in Odisha of the year 2019 MHA had classified 13 districts to be naxal-affected. Now, the latest categorization, which has come in the year 2023, 10 districts are affected and out of them, only 2 are severely affected that is Kandhamal and Kalahandi. Malkangiri earlier was also severely affected, but now it’s almost naxal-free. So the situation is improving day-by-day and now the core area is only Kandhamal and Kalahandi, the rest of the area is almost back to normalcy” BSF IG Dhirendra Kumar said.
Kumar highlighted the BSF’s role since its induction in 2010, initially focusing on Koraput and Malkangiri.
“When BSF was first inducted in 2010, the worst affected districts were Koraput and Malkangiri so it took time to make them naxal-free. After we achieved our task at Koraput the state government de-inducted BSF from Koraput and now to go all out for the remnants of the Naxals in Odisha that is in Kalahandi and Kandamal, 2 battalions of BSF have been inducted in Kandamal. And the way things are going we hope to end this menace in the next one and a half couple years” BSF IG Dhirendra Kumar said.
To ensure security and control, the BSF has established three new camps in Kandhamal, emphasizing their presence in remote and inaccessible regions.
“We have a total of 48 camps in Odisha and since we are entering Kandhamal. We have opened three new camps and one new camp is about to open in Boudh district. These camps are not in the hinterland or the highways they are in the absolute remotest and inaccessible areas where the state machinery and government machinery are not able to reach, and we as part of the government are reaching out. Simultaneously we are carrying out a development programme, and social services scheme” BSF IG Dhirendra Kumar said.
Considering the upcoming 2024 elections BSF has deployed 35 companies in Odisha.
“We have already deployed to remote parts of Odisha as of now 35 companies of BSF are already inducted for election 2024 both Lok Shaba and Assembly. We are working with close Coordination both the government and officials all the deployments chalked out mutually” BSF IG Dhirendra Kumar said.
IG Kumar extended an appeal to Naxals, encouraging surrender stating, “We welcome any naxal to surrender because it’s high time they should realise that their ideology no longer carries any weight. The state government already has a good surrender policy that rehabilitates them so I would like to appeal to all the naxals to leave the path of violence and join the mainstream.”
A few districts Kandhamal, Bodh, Kalahandi and Nayagarh are important. In recent times, Kandhamal and Bodh districts have been witness to Naxal activities due to which incidents of IEDs and encounters with security forces have increased. But the security forces have always given a befitting and befitting reply, according to a press release by BSF.
According to the release, in an important encounter, the Division Commander of the KKBN division ‘Dasru’ was killed in an encounter with security forces. The successful counter-offensive operation of the security forces has neutralized the combat capability of the Naxalites and limited their area of influence.
In a strategic decision, the police and BSF decided to establish BSF COB in the northern and northwestern areas of Kandhamal district adjoining Bodh district. In the same sequence, on February 28, a COB of the 99th Corps was established at Badapaju under Gram Panchayat Saluguda, Police Station-Gochhapada. This is a remote area in the middle of the forest, 45 kilometres away from the district headquarters, where Naxal activity was continuing unhindered, the release stated.
The establishment of COB Badapaju will prove to be a milestone in the direction of controlling these Naxalite activities and making the state completely free from Naxalites, according to the release.
As per the release, Swabhiman Anchal, which was once the Maoist levitated zone, has been completely freed from the clutches of the Maoists by the Border Security Force. Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon of Koraput district, which were once Naxal strongholds, were liberated from the Naxalites by the Border Security Force.
In recent times also, the Border Security Force was successful in destroying many Maoist dumps in Koraput and Malkangiri in which pressure cooker IEDs were recovered. A large quantity of IED-making material, explosives, lathe machine, gelatin sticks, detonators etc. have also been recovered, as per the release.
With the cooperation of the police administration, the Border Security Force has killed 65 deadly Naxalites since 2010, out of which one Naxal was killed in 2023, the release stated.
According to the release, a total of 793 Naxals were detained. A total of 632 Naxalites have surrendered, 496 IEDs, 882 weapons, 810 rounds, 2875 kg explosives, 4499 Grenade, 7299 detonators, 940 metres of cordex, 15.506 Kg Ganja, approximately Rs 1 crore 10 lakh currency etc.
Apart from strategic operations, the Border Security Force has also played an important role in taking the public welfare schemes being implemented by the state and central governments to Naxal-affected villages, the release stated

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