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Chopper patrol for riot-hit Kandhamal

December 24, 2008 17:58 IST

The central government on Wednesday got a helicopter to conduct surveillance in the riot-hit areas of Orissa as the Christian community expressed apprehension of violence during Christmas.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram [Images] spoke to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and asked him to take necessary steps for protecting the lives and property of the people.

"Today, the central government has provided a helicopter to the state government for patrolling over Kandhamal and Sambalpur districts," Chidambaram said in a statement released by the home ministry.

The minister spoke to Patnaik twice, including once on Wednesday, and asked the chief minister to keep him informed about the developments and offered further assistance, if necessary.

"I have impressed upon him that it is the responsibility of the state government to maintain law and order and protect the lives and property of all sections of the people in the state," he said.

This is for the first time that a helicopter is used for surveillance in the sensitive areas of the two districts in Orissa.

Apart from 2,400 CRPF personnel deployed on a long-term basis, the Centre has also provided an additional 5,300 CRPF and Rapid Action Force personnel.

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