Friday, June 26, 2009

Orissa demands men, machine and money to tackle Naxals

Sumir Kaul/ PTI / Koratpur June 26, 2009, 14:44 IST



In the wake of increased Maoist activities, the Orissa Government has placed before the Centre a list of demands including young paramilitary officers to train its men, helicopters and grants for setting up a anti-Naxal training centre.

During the meeting with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, who is on a two-day visit to Orissa, state government officials sought seven more battalions (about 7,000 troops) of CRPF to tackle Left wing extremists.

"Out of seven battalions, four (about 4,000 men) will be for regular deployment and three (3,000 troops) for conducting operations against Naxals," official sources said.

The officials have told Chidambaram that the state needs young officers of the rank of assistant commandants or deputy commandants of paramilitary forces for imparting training to its men.

Hours before the Home Minister's visit to the Koraput district yesterday, Maoists blew up three mobile towers and a railway station and cut off road communication to Narayanpatna block in the district trapping nearly 400 security personnel, including those from CRPF.

"We need more assistance in the form of men, machine and money. We have asked the Home Minister to provide IPS officers from the Centre to train our men," a senior official said.

The state government also highlighted its limited facilities for training police personnel in the state.

"Training is a huge problem here as the state can hone the skills of only 1,500 men every year," sources said.

The state has also demanded an assistance of Rs 20 crore from the Centre for its Constabulary Training unit. The state government has already earmarked Rs eight crore for it.

Besides, central assistance was needed for the Rs.10 crore anti-extremist training centre, they said.

The state government also demanded a dedicated helicopter for ferrying troops and those injured during operations against Naxals, they added.

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