July 18: Intelligence reports claim that Maoists are planning another major attack in Orissa on the lines of the Nayagarh attack where the Maoists looted huge quantity of arms and half-a-truck-load of ammunition from armouries by virtually laying siege to the town located at a distance of about 100 km from Bhubaneswar.
The Orissa police is still reeling under Wednesday’s attack where a landmine blast by Maoists killed atleast 17 policemen besides injuring others. The Orissa police has begun combing operations against Maoists and a high-alert has been sounded in the state and its district and borders shared with neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Meanwhile, sources in intelligence agencies said that Maoists have planned another major strike in the state in the next two three months. If the Maoists are successful, this would be their fourth major strike in the state this year — the first one being the attack on key police installations in Nayagarh followed by the fatal attack on Andhra greyhounds and Wednesday’s landmine blast in Malkangiri district.
The Union home ministry, which has sought a report from the state on Wednesday’s incident, has said that Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are not being followed by the state police forces engaged in anti-naxal operations. Concern has also been raised about police personnel travelling together in vehicles rather than motorcycles in mine prone areas. Sources revealed that states have asked the home ministry to make adequate changes in SOPs to keep them in line with the changing needs.
The ministry is also concerned about ‘’lack of awareness’’ amongst forces on the use of "Mine Proof Vehicles". Senior officials said that the police forces have repeatedly been told that the vehicles dispatched in anti-naxal operations are "armoured vehicles’’ which are "bullet-proof’’ and may not offer protection from landmine blasts that are of a greater intensity.