Saturday, January 24, 2009

Naxal menace "much bigger" than global terror: Orissa

Bhubaneswar (PTI): Seeking doubling of Central force deployment in extremist-infested areas of the state, Orissa government has described the naxalite problem to be "much bigger" than cross border terrorism.

This view was expressed at a two-day consultation meeting of the Commission on Centre State Relationship (CCSR) that ended here on Wednesday.

As the problem was serious, it was unjustified to leave the responsibility of tackling the menace on the state government alone, Orissa's Panchayati Raj minister Raghuath Mohanty said while presenting the state's case favouring a two-fold increase in deployment of Central forces in Maoist-hit areas.

"In many ways, naxal problem is much bigger than cross border terrorism...Therefore, the nation should tackle it with the same degree of seriousness as in case of terrorism," he said

"It was shocking to find that the Centre reduced the funds meant for modernisation of police in Orissa," the minister said, claiming that the amount had come down to Rs 35 crore from previous year's allocation of Rs 60 crore.

This apart, the state government said it has become difficult to arrange executing agencies and contractors to implement road connectivity works in naxalite-prone districts.

The naxalites try to ensure that no connectivity programme was implemented in tribal areas which have turned into havens for the out-lawed outfits.

"Executing agencies and contractors are unwilling to work in naxal-infested districts", he said adding efforts to provide road connectivity to all such areas had failed.

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