Raipur, March 26 (IANS) Police in Chhattisgarh have urged the state's legislators to be on high alert while trekking through Maoist jungle strongholds in the wake of the abduction of a BJD MLA in neighbouring Odisha, a top police officer said Monday.
The authorities have also requested the legislators, mainly those who represent areas affected by leftist insurgency, to avoid sudden trips into the interiors and always take local authorities in confidence while visiting the areas where Maoist guerrillas dictate terms.
"The district police chiefs and Inspectors General (IG) of Maoist areas have been asked by police headquarters to work in tandem with legislators of their areas to ensure they get maximum security cover," Ramniwas, additional director general of police (Maoist operation), told IANS.
He added: "We have placed a request with each of the MLAs, mainly those belonging to Maoist areas to be very alert and careful and please let the local police authorities know about their visits to the interiors and also avoid making sudden visits to conflict zones."
He confirmed that district police chiefs have been asked by police headquarters here to persuade foreigners not to sneak into jungle areas in insurgency-hit districts for any reasons.
The police advisory to Chhattisgarh MLAs was sent out purely on the basis of the abduction of two Italian citizens March 14 in Odisha and the state's ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Jhina Hikaka Saturday by Maoists. The Maoists released one of the Italian hostages Sunday.
Eighteen out of a total of 27 districts in Chhattisgarh are considered Maoist-affected areas and its nearly 40,000 sq km mineral rich area called the Bastar region has been a Maoist belt since the late 1980s. The rebels have carried out a string of deadly attacks in the Bastar region on police and civilians in the past 5-6 years, including the killing of 76 troopers in a single attack in April 2010. But the violent activities in the state have surprisingly decreased in the past six months.
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