Bihar alerts officials in Maoist-hit areasBy IANS
Saturday, February 19, 2011
PATNA - The Bihar government has asked top officials in the state’s Maoist-hit districts to take all precautionary measures during their official visits to rural areas. It sounded an alert following the abduction of a collector of Orissa’s Malkangiri district, official said here Saturday.
“The government had made it clear to the officials posted in Maoist-affected districts to take their security seriously during their visit to rural areas,” an official in the chief minister’s office said.
All officials, particularly district magistrates and divisional commissioners, were asked not to visit rural areas with only a few security men in view of the Malkangiri incident.
Bihar Police Chief Neelmani said: “The district magistrates have to assess their security needs during visits to rural areas. It is for them to decide upon their own security,” he said.
Neelmani pointed that the Maoists abducted Malkangiri District Collector R. Veenel Krishna due to lack of security forces during his visit to an interior part.
According to official sources, the government asked them to avoid kuchcha (temporary) roads, use anti-landmine vehicles in vulnerable areas, and instructed them not to use vehicles on culverts and small bridges and instead walk across.
As many as 33 of Bihar’s 38 districts are Maoist-affected.