Thursday, June 18, 2009

Naveen’s SOS for more forces

First Published : 18 Jun 2009 04:08:00 AM ISTLast Updated :

BHUBANESWAR: Perturbed over the increasing activities of the Naxalites in the State, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today sent an SOS to the Centre seeking more Central forces and a helicopter to tackle the situation.

Naveen expressed unhappiness over the fact that while 11 battalions of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been deployed in Chhatisgarh for tackling the Naxal menace, only four have been provided to Orissa.

Naveen demanded seven more battalions for the State to deal with the deteriorating situation. While four of these are needed for deployment in the affected districts, three more are required for the areas bordering the neighbouring states, he said.

In a letter to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, the Chief Minister said there is an immediate need for release of more funds for strengthening infrastructure to counter the growing activities of the Left Wing extremists (LWEs).

He demanded a special assistance of Rs 20 crore for the constable training centre. Besides, Rs 10 crore is required for development of infrastructure for establishment of anti-extremist training centre and purchase of modern equipment for it.

Other demands include Rs 20 crore for strengthening the intelligence system and Rs 64 crore under the security related expenditure (SRE) scheme. A helicopter is also required for communication purposes in the Naxal-affected areas, he said.

Apprising Chidambaram about the measures initiated by the State Government to deal with the menace, Naveen said the Centre should also cooperate in equal measure. He reminded Chidambaram about the letter written by him in this regard to him on March 20. Naveen informed Chidambaram that strength in 83 police stations in the affected areas have been increased while 152 police stations and outposts and 10 armouries have been fortified under the modernisation programme.

While one IRB battalion has been deployed in counter-extremist operations, two more are taking training. Two specialist organisations -SOG and special intelligence wing (SIW) - have also been set up. A special strike force has been constituted with 1,000 ex-servicemen.

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