Saturday, June 27, 2009

Act tough, help will follow: Chidambaram

E xpress News Service First Published : 27 Jun 2009 11:28:10 AM ISTLast Updated : 27 Jun 2009 11:29:38 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: Winding up his two-day visit to the Naxal-infested Koraput, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday left it to the State to take on the menace. All help will be provided, was his response to the State Government’s plea for adequate forces. He also found years of neglect in the area has aggravated the problem.

The State Government will have to increase the strength of the forces fighting the Naxalites and commit more personnel for the cause, he said at a media conference after a meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. On Thursday, he reviewed the State’s preparedness in Koraput. To the charge of the State Government that the Centre’s response has been inadequate, Chidambaram assured of full support.

Even in West Bengal where the Left Front Government is fighting to evict Naxalites from Lalgarh, the Centre has made it clear that for every unit of security force committed by State, Centre will provide one unit. This rule applies to all states, he said.

Chidambaram asserted that the Centre and the State Government will not yield any ground to the Maoists. “We will resolutely oppose them and ensure that all violent activities come to an end.” There are many affected states and the Centre will have to send forces to all of them, he said.

Asked whether Narayanpatna has become out of bounds for the security forces, Chidambaram said the State Police are on the move. The forces will reach the town tonight or tomorrow morning, he said. Chidambaram maintained that violation of standard operating procedures led to incidents like Koraput in which nine police personnel were killed in a landmine blast.

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