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Orissa CM unsure about start of anti-Naxal joint operation

Source: PTI
November 05, 2009 18:52 IST
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Uncertainty prevailed over beginning of a joint operation against Naxalites in Orissa with the state government today accusing the Centre of not sending adequate paramilitary forces for the purpose.

"I had asked the Union home ministry for seven more battalions (nearly 7,000 personnel) of paramilitary forces. But, that has not been forthcoming," Chief Minister Naveen

Patnaik said after returning from New Delhi.

Patnaik, however, said the state government would continue in its effort to combat Naxalites.

"We have taken several steps like recruitment of new personnel and training them for anti-Naxalite operation."

Though the Union home ministry had earlier asked the state government to prepare for a joint operation against Naxalites, there had been no assistance for the same, a senior home department official said.

"We were told to make lodging arrangement for the paramilitary forces which will come here to join the special operation," he said, adding despite arrangements the forces have not arrived.

The Centre, on the other hand, had already sent additional force to neighbouring Chhattisgarh for beginning of the operation there, he said.

Top police officers associated with anti-Maoist operation here apprehend that a large number of rebels could cross the border and enter into the state as the special operations were conducted in neighbouring states.

"This was a clear case of lack of coordination between the Centre and the state. Ultras can take benefit out of it," the official said, adding that the Orissa police had already launched the anti-Naxalite operation in certain areas like one in Rayagada district with help of its special operations group.

The state's anti-Naxal operation in Rayagada had been successful to some extent as the police arrested more than 40 Ultras since January.

The state required additional paramilitary force as 17 of the 30 districts had already been witnessing Maoist menace, the official said.

The Maoist-hit districts are Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Gajapti, Sundargarh, Sambalpur, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj and Kandhamal.

"A massive joint operation was required in all the highly Maoist infested districts immediately," the official said.
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