Saturday, February 06, 2010

West Bengal wants coordinated action by naxal-affected States

At the forthcoming meeting with Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, West Bengal is likely to stress the need for co-ordinated action along the 600-km boundary that the State shares with Orissa and Jharkhand in the districts affected by ultra-Left extremism in these three States.

The State is also keen to take up the issue of joint operations, deployment of additional forces, the need to raise a State-level combat force and a training academy for raising such forces, at the meeting to be held at the Secretariat on February 9.

It is likely to be attended by the Chief Ministers of four eastern States -- West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa which are racked by ultra-Left extremist violence -- as well as the key officials of the respective State governments. However indications are that the Bihar Chief Minister may not attend the meeting.

A meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council of these four States was held in the city on Friday which discussed common issues and entities like the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC - which is co-owned by West Bengal, Jharkhand and the Centre), as also issues such as tribal development. It is also likely to be discussed at Tuesday’s meeting and the Centre has asked the four States to prepare a report on this.

West Bengal Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen told The Hindu that the State government would press for two things at the meeting with the Union Home Minister. “We will stress the need for raising a combat force of our own and also for joint operations and additional deployment.”

West Bengal Director-General of Police Bhupinder Singh said sharing of information between the four States and co-ordinated action among the States along the border areas of the Maoist strongholds was necessary. Of the three districts in West Bengal affected by Maoist activities — Purulia shared a 380-km border with Jharkhand, while Paschim Medinipur had a 96-km border with Jharkhand and a 107-km border with Orissa. Majority of these areas were thickly forested with difficult terrain, he said making it easy for the extremists to escape.

He said that while West Bengal had 17 police stations dotting this 600-km border, they needed to be manned and equipped better to tackle the Maoists.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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