New Delhi: Durga Madhav Mitra, a distinguished IPS officer of 1983 batch belonging to Madhya Pradesh cadre passed away at All India Institute of Medical Sciences here early Saturday morning after a prolonged illness. He is survived by his wife Rina Mitra, also a 1983 batch IPS officer, a son and a daughter.
D.M.Mitra, whom friends in JNU called John Mitra, held many charges in the State Police, including SP of three districts, DIG, Special Armed Force, DIG, Administration, IG, Home Guards, Addl.DG of Railways, Addl.DG of Complaints and Addl.DG of Narcotics in Madhya Pradesh.
Mitra devoted valuable time and efforts to build an integrated and comprehensive picture of Maoist challenge to the liberal democratic state of India, which he shared and validated at various government, non-government and academic forums through lectures/ presentations.
Mitra’s key-note address on the Maoist problem at a workshop jointly organised by Newsroom24x7.com and Madhya Pradesh Academy of Administration in September 2011 was widely hailed. This workshop, which was attended by senior administrative, police and forest officers proved to be an important milestone as it helped field level officers to understand the entire dynamics of the Maoist movement and the complexity of handling the situation. Especially Police chiefs from the naxalite affected districts attended this workshop.
Mitra served outside the State in the Central Government. While on deputation with the Centre, he got the opportunity to do intelligence work, observe and analyse left wing extremism in Orissa and tribal militancy in Tripura. He has also worked in Ministry of External Affairs on deputation and served as 1st Secretary in Vancouver, Canada (August 1996 – August 1998).
Mitra did Master of Science in Defence Analysis from Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, CA, USA and PG Diploma in Public Administration from IIPA, New Delhi.
Mitra received the International Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement in the USA and was decorated with Indian Police Medal for Meritorious Service and President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service (2007).
Strategic Studies Institute of USA has published a Book titled “Understanding Indian Insurgencies” written by Mitra. The monograph has become the prescribed reading material for graduate history course on revolution and military doctrines in the prestigious Leeds University of U.K.
As a special invitee, Mitra assisted Police Act Drafting Committee headed by Soli Sorabji and he was the Member Secretary of the Committee constituted by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for assisting the Ministry in establishment of National Police University. He also assisted the Naxal Management Division in MHA, Government of India. He was a member of National Police Mission. On behalf of BPR&D, MHA, Government of India, he undertook a research project on ‘Maoist Violence’ during 2009-10. He was also Principal Advisor to MP Planning Commission since January 2011.
Excellant and upright officer. Salute to his service to the nation. My condolences to his family
John Mitra was one of the few truly brilliant individuals who understood why people (in India’s case, Maoists) rebel, and what governments (and security forces) should do about them. His greatest struggles were not with the Maoists, but with his own side: the police, military, and government – trying to convince them that the sources of rebellion are generally rooted in poor governance, and the solutions have very little to do with organizing superior violence against the rebels. His proposed solutions had more with building trust, growing economic opportunity, and providing real hope for a better life for all people. Doing so will convince them to support the government and not the Maoists. John had more common sense is his little finger than most government officials have in their whole bodies.
I was honored to be his mentor/teacher/friend in the USA. I will conclude with this: he taught me more than I ever taught him. He was the master, I the student.
I am very sad to learn of his passing. I will never forget him. My deep sympathy go out to his family, and to his beloved India. He loved his country deeply. We have lost a truly wonderful and capable man.
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D A Borer has beautifully evaluated Durga Madhav Mitra, the distinguished IPS officer, who is also fondly called John Mitra from his JNU days, in a moving language. We are given to understand Mitra treated Maoists, the fringe elements straying away from the mainstream, as his own countrymen and surely not as hated extremists, as they are usually looked upon to be. It must be acknowledged that a section of our population have embraced extremism more out of grinding poverty, a scenario where all hopes of life are strangulated, than anything else and they become the foot-soldiers for a wrong cause that romanticises ugliest brutalities in the name of revolution. A brilliant, sensitive police officer, whose professionalism was unmatched in terms of right approach soaked in humanism, Mitra Saab will be remembered with deep gratitude by our countrymen,
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