Odisha not getting central force for deployment: CM

Bhubaneswar:Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday expressed displeasure over the state not being given adequate central force for deployment in left wing extremism (LWE)-hit areas.

Patnaik, who was replying to a debate on the voting of supplementary demands for grants of the home and general administration departments, claimed that there was a substantial improvement in the LWE scenario in the state.

"As usual our repeated requests for additional deployment of central forces has not been considered so far," Patnaik said, adding that Odisha's problem is mostly caused by infiltration of LWE ultras from Chhattishgarh, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh.

Patnaik said, "The asymmetric deployment of central forces on the Chhattishgarh border is a major issue towards which we have drawn the central government's attention."

Justifying his claim of substantial improvement in the LWE scenario in Odisha, Patnaik said that the state government's commitment to eliminate the menace is reflected in its determined efforts to complete the construction of Gurupriya Bridge in Malkangiri district - a Maoist hotbed - despite the Centre not giving adequate funds.

"I am hopeful that in a few months from now the cut-off areas will have connectivity," Patnaik said. The cut-off area is a place in Malkangiri district which is encircled by Balimela reservoir on three side and considered as the safe zone for the Maoist ultras.

Patnaik said that the law and order situation in the state was by and large peaceful. The state government has always given top priority in tackling crime against vulnerable sections such as women, children, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes.

He said the state government has taken proactive steps to improve the criminal justice system by way of direct recruitment of assistant public prosecutors, establishment of women and children desks at police stations.

"In fact, whenever any negligence is noticed, tough and exemplary action has been taken by my government," Patnaik said.

He said that this year 3,748 missing children had been rescued in the government's Operation Muskan-III. "Effort is on to rescue and rehabilitate the missing children. Our efforts have been been appreciated by the ministry of home affairs," Patnaik told the assembly.

Members of both the opposition parties - Congress and BJP - walked out of the House, alleging that Patnaik did not reply to questions they had raised during the debate.

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