Odisha wants more central forces for anti-Maoist ops

The Odisha government will request for two additional battalions of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) from the Union Home Ministry for anti-Maoist operations in the state.

The demand will be placed at the high-level meeting of the chief ministers of nine Maoist affected states scheduled for June 5 in New Delhi.

The meeting has been convened by the Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde in the wake of the recent mayhem in Chhattisgarh. The meeting is expected to discuss fresh strategies to handle the Maoist menace, the biggest internal threat to national security.

“We will demand two more battalions of the CRPF at the coming internal security meeting in New Delhi. We will also stress on better co-ordination between the states and the Centre on the issue of handling the menace”, state Home Secretary U N Behera said.

 The internal security conclave was debated at a high-level meeting here on Monday which was chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who also heads the home department. Besides Behera, Director-General of Police Prakash Mishra was also present at the meeting.

 The CRPF and other paramilitary forces like the BSF are already deployed in Maoist infested districts in the state like Malkangiri, Koraput, Nowrangpur, Sambalpur, Sundergarh and Bolangir.

The central forces and the state police have already intensified combing operations after the Chhattisgarh incident. They are likely to be further intensified after Wednesday’s meeting.

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