Orissa asks ministers to avoid night journey in red corridor

"In the existing scenario ... it is imperative to apprise political leaders, including ministers, to avoid road journey during odd hours of night, especially in Maoist-infested areas from security point of view," a Special Branch report to the Home department said.

Basing on the report, necessary advisories have been issued to all ministers and other important dignitaries, a senior home department official said.

"There is a possibility of extremists targetting VIPs during the road journey by placing explosive devices on roads or carrying out an ambush in dense forest, hilly terrain," he said.

The home department through parliamentary affairs department also issued "Dos" and "Don'ts" for ministers, MLAs and MPs in order to streamline the security arrangements.
"Please strictly adhere to the instructions in order to avoid any untoward incident," the letter issued to the VIPs said.

The security advisory to the ministers came in the wake of the landmine explosion at Gobindpalli Ghat in Koraput district on April 4, in which at least 11 security personnel were killed.

Hours before the Maoists triggered the landmine at Gobindpalli Ghat, two state ministers had undertaken a road journey through the same road during the late night after campaigning for a local urban body election in Malkangiri district, police said.

Though the state government had several times issued circulars, guidelines and security instructions, it was observed that some ministers/ security protected persons have not been adhering to the guidelines, the observation made by the special branch said.

Therefore, the ministers were asked not to attend any unscheduled programmes without prior intimation to the district superintendents of police (SPs), range inspector general (IG) of police or deputy IG, it said.

"Ministers, MLAs and MPs in naxalite affected areas are provided with personal security officers. Always move with them," the guideline said adding route of the movement should not be publicised in advance.

The vulnerable ministers and politicians were also asked not to have unscheduled stoppage, another official said.

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