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Odisha rejects home ministry's remark on Naxal violence

Source: PTI
May 15, 2012 14:42 IST
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Rejecting the Centre's charge that the Odisha government has failed to contain left-wing extremism, the state's director general of police on Tuesday claimed that Naxal violence had declined in 2011 compared to the year before.

"The Naxal situation in most parts of the state had been controlled while it was a cause of concern for the state government in areas bordering Chattishgarh," Director General of Police Manmohan Praharaj wrote to Union Home Secretary R K Singh.

Claiming that Naxal activity in Malkangiri district was well under control, he said the Kalinga Nagar division of the Communist Party of India - Maoist was no longer active.

Earlier, it was active in Keonjhar, Jajpur and Dhenkanal districts, he pointed out.

Similarly, Naxal violence had also declined in the districts of Sambalpur, Deogarh and Sundergarh, the DGP said, but admitted that Narayanpatna area in Koraput district, parts of Kandhamal district and areas bordering Chhattishgarh had been a "cause of concern".

The districts bordering Chhattishgarh where Naxal violence had increased comprised Nuapada, Balangir and Bargarh.

"We have expedited anti-Maoist operation in such areas," Praharaj said.

The home ministry had in a communication to the DGP and principal secretary (home) of Odisha government referred to an "alarming" rise in the activities of Maoists and blamed the government for it.

"Odisha is the only state in India where activities of CPI-Maoists are spreading to new areas at an alarming rate without requisite counter-measures by the state government," the missive had said.

Maintaining that the ministry of home affairs' statistics provided at the chief ministers' conference in Delhi on May 16 indicated a decline in Naxal violence in the state, Praharaj said at least 194 Maoists had been arrested in the state by May 2012.

Similarly, 60 ultras have surrendered while 157 weapons, 280 improvised explosive devices and a huge amount of ammunition was seized during the period, the DGP's letter said, adding that 23 Maoists were killed in the exchange of fire between ultras and security personnel in 2011.

"At least four ultras had lost their lives during the exchange of fire so far this year," he said.

The state police had worked in close coordination with the central paramilitary force, the DGP said, adding that intelligence sharing between states and the Centre had been effective in tacking the menace.

Defending the superintendents of police in different Maoist-hit districts, the DGP said that they had been working hard and had been able to contain the violence despite the scarcity of young IPS officers.

The state government had conducted several Unified Command meetings in order to establish better coordination between the state police, central force and other states.

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