Odisha News Insight

Odisha seeks 1 CRPF Battalion, 2 Choppers to counter Maoists

Naveen-RajnathOdisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday urged the Centre to deploy one more CRPF battalion on the Odisha-Chhattisgarh border to counter the movement of Maoists into the state.

In a meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi, Patnaik said that there is an urgent need to augment the forces in Nuapada and Malkangiri districts to sustain anti-Maoist operations.

Saying that the 8 seater helicopter provided by Pawan Hans Helicopter Ltd. for anti-Maoist operations has limited operational utility, the chief minister urged the minister to deploy two dedicated military helicopters, one each at Bhubaneswar and Koraput, to act as force multipliers, said a release from the chief minister’s office.

Patnaik also raised the issue of charges for the deployment of the CRPF in anti-Maoist operations, which is shown as outstanding against the state. He said the state government has created, trained and deployed over 30,000 police personnel at its own expense to contain the Maoist menace.

“Containment of left wing extremism is a collective responsibility of the union and the states and accordingly the union government should reconsider their existing policy and bear the entire cost of deployment of CRPF for anti-Maoist operations,” said the chief minister.

Patnaik brought to the notice of the home minister that an amount of Rs.172 crore for the period from 2005-06 to 2013-14 is still pending for release to the state under the Security Related Expenditure Scheme.

He urged Singh to expedite the release of the pending amount.

Informing that construction of the Gurupriya bridge to connect the cut off areas of Malkangiri to the mainland was progressing fast, he said the centre had released only Rs.45 crore till date against the approved cost of Rs.187.25 crore and urged Singh to ensure the release of the balance amount for this critical bridge.

The release said the home minister assured that an additional battalion of the CRPF will be deployed on the Odisha side of the Chhattisgarh border at the earliest and that Odisha will receive priority in the placement of dedicated military helicopters, which are expected to be procured by November 2015. (IANS)

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