Friday, March 20, 2009

Chidambaram reviews security in Orissa

20 Mar 2009, 1342 hrs IST, IANS

BHUBANESWAR: Union home minister P. Chidambaram, who arrived here Friday to review the security arrangements for the upcoming Lok Sabha and assembly
polls, said he has asked the Orissa government to take adequate measures to tackle Maoist insurgency and communal conflict.

"It is the duty of the state government to maintain law and order in Kandhamal and other Naxalite affected areas," Chidambaram told reporters after reviewing the security situation.

Last year, at least 38 people were killed in communal violence in Kandhamal district following the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram on Aug 23.

Chief Minsiter Naveen Patnaik said he had appraised the home minister about the various security arrangement made by his government.

Official sources said Chidamabram had met senior administrative and police officials along with the chief minister at the state secretariat.

Chidambaram had assured Patnaik that Orissa will be provided adequate central forces to ensure free and fair elections.

Official sources said Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami and Election Commissioner Naveen Chawla also arrived in the state earlier in the day to review poll preparedness.

They are scheduled to meet the leaders of all political parties and senior government officials.

Orissa will go to polls in two phases on April 16 and 23 to elect 147 members to the state assembly and 21 members to the Lok Sabha.

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