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Anti-Maoist operation depends on force availability: Orissa CM

Source: PTI
January 22, 2010 18:12 IST
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The Orissa government on Friday said the fate of any special anti-Maoist operation in the state would be clear only after five more battalions of the central para-military force arrive.

"Let the five extra battalions of force arrive. Then I think, picture will be clear," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told journalists in Bhubaneshwar after returning from a meeting convened by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram at Raipur.

Stating that the Union Home Minister had assured five more battalions of the CPMF and two choppers for anti-Maoist operations in the state, Patnaik said the meeting attended by him, Chhatisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Home Minister of Maharashtra R R Patil dealt upon a coordinated effort to fight the red rebels.

"The Union home minister called upon the three states to coordinate amongst us," Patnaik said.

Asked about the absence of Jharkhand at the Raipur meeting, the chief minister said, "There will be another meeting involving chief ministers and home ministers of West Bengal and Jharkhand."

Patnaik said he had put forth demands from the state for more roads and bridges, mainly in the border areas where Naxalite activities continued.

"And of course, I demanded more funds for the Vijaywada-Ranchi road," he said.

The Orissa government, which had been provided with five battalions of CPMF for anti-Maoist operations, had indicated that another batch of 5 battalions of central jawans would be helpful in carrying out combing operations effectively.

The state has been demanding additional force since a long time, a home department official said adding that Orissa could take a decision regarding launch of special operation only after getting additional manpower support.

As 18 of the 30 districts of the state had been experiencing Maoist violence, a special operation was needed particularly in border districts of Malkangiri, Koraput in southern region and Sambalpur and Sundargarh in western sides, he said.

While the red rebels almost rule the roost in the undivided Koraput district comprising Koraput, Malkangiri, Ryagada and Nawrangpur, the government has failed to take any effective steps due to the lack of trained police personnel, the official said.
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