Friday, June 19, 2009

Who is responsible for Naxal attacks?

;Statesman News Service

BHUBANESWAR, 18 JUNE : Chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik has reiterated his charge that the state was “not getting adequate support from the Central government to combat the Maoists.”

"The Centre has not yet responded to our request for four battalions of CRPF on long term deployment in Orissa," said the CM, before going on to add that even funds committed for intelligence network have not come in as yet. Replying to a notice for adjournment moved by the Opposition on the recent Maoist attack in Sambalpur district in which a police sub-inspector was killed, Mr Patnaik said the Naxal problem has been identified as the biggest threat to the internal security of the country. The state government has initiated a number of measures to combat the menace by strengthening the police force. The police have succeeded to a significant extent in Sambalpur and Deogarh districts. "As many as 60 Naxals were arrested, two surrendered and three were killed last year," the CM informed.

However, the state has now spent all the security-related expenditure funds provided by the Centre. Of the five IRBs, one is operational, while two others are undergoing training. On the killing of sub-inspector Narasingha Mahakud, the CM said Mahakud was killed in an encounter with Naxalites in Gariakhaman village on 15 June. He showered praise on Mahakud, describing him as a valiant, fearless policeman.
The Opposition BJP walked out of the House after its member from Sambalpur Jayanarayan Mishra alleged that most of his questions remained unanswered.
Earlier, the Congress members had also staged a walk out, alleging that the Leader of Opposition Mr Bhupinder Singh was not allowed to make his point. Agitated Congress members squatted near the Mahatma’s statue right through the day and boycotted the post-lunch session of the House. Mr Singh had created a flutter when he suggested that the Speaker Mr Pradip Amat should resign from the BJD on occupying the post. Taking strong exception to certain remarks made by Mr Singh, ruling party members said his remarks should be expunged. The Speaker, later expunged some of the remarks and went on to note that there was no precedent of the Speaker resigning from his party.

Prior to the walk-out, Congress members had participated in the debate and alleged that Mahakud died as he was not provided with adequate equipment. "He did not have a bullet-proof jacket," charged Mr Santosh Singh Saluja of the Congress. His party colleague Mr Naba Kishore Das held the callousness of the state government responsible for the growing Naxal problem in the state.

Azad rejects charges

Expressing anguish over the ‘wild allegations’ being hurled at the Central government by political parties ruling states like Orissa, Union minister Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad said they try to cover up their failures on the law and order front by blaming the Central government. “I am really at a loss of words,” he remarked on insinuations made by the BJD that in withdrawing paramilitary forces, the Centre was trying to create lawlessness in the state. The Maoist problem is an extremely serious one and it calls for joint effort and close coordination between state governments and the Centre, he said.

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