Odisha to ask for more forces from Centre to tackle Maoists

Bhubaneswar
3 May 2017

Odisha will demand more forces and better communication facilities from the Centre at the May 8 meeting with Union home minister Rajnath Singh to tackle Maoists more effectively, chief secretary A P Padhi said.
The anti-Maoist strategy meeting has been called by Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on May 8 following the attack on CRPF in Sukma on April 24, said to be the deadliest on the central force in seven years. "We will demand two additional battalions of central force as there is every possibility of red rebels to sneak into Odisha with Chhattisgarh intensifying combing operation. We have already sealed the border with that state," Padhi said after the meeting. Odisha currently has 16 battalions of Central Force compared to that of Chhattisgargh and Jharkhand, which have about 100 battalions each, a senior police officer said
"Of the 16 battalions, eight battalions are from CRPF, one from Cobra force and remaining seven are BSF. However, this number is quite inadequate in view of the changed scenario," the officer said. Padhi said that the state also needed more mobile towers to smoothen communication facilities in hilly and forested areas, sheltering the rebels. "Better roads are also required for the movement of forces," he said, adding that coordination between neighbouring states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh should be enhanced.
"All these issues will be raised in the May 8 meeting with the union minister," the chief secretary said. Meanwhile DGP KB Singh said that the security forces are on high alert along the Odisha-Chhattisgarh border to prevent any possible influx of Maoist cadres into Odisha border. "Personnel of the state's elite special operation group (SOG), district voluntary force, CRPF and the BSF have been deployed to maintain strict vigil on the movement of people in the adjoining areas," DGP said.