Bhubaneswar: Attending the significant meeting on anti-Naxal operations in New Delhi today, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik demanded railway link for Maoist-affected and tribal-dominated Malkangiri and Nabarangpur districts as well as infrastructure development in the fields of telecommunications and banking to thwart left-wing extremism.
Speaking to media soon after the vital meeting, the Odisha Chief Minister said, “At the meeting with the Home Minister called today, I made three major demands. That the districts of Nabarangpur and Malkangiri get railway connectivity. Our State Government is willing to provide free land and also pay half of the project cost.”
He added, “Also demanded for banking facility in all the Naxal-affected blocks and telecommunications in the Naxal-affected areas.”
Responding to media query, he said, “I’m satisfied with the demands made. I hope they comply with it.”
In his address, the Chief Minister informed the vital review meeting that during the year 2018 and 2019 till 15th August, 26 LWE cadres have died in Police action, 85 have been arrested and 35 have surrendered. The most redeeming feature in Odisha has been the dwindling mass support and the recruitment of local cadres. As a result, the total strength of the LWE cadres operating in the State has reduced substantially.
Naveen highlighted that pro-people, pro-tribal and pro-poor schemes along with 100% electrification and improved access to health & education facilities have played a major role in containing LWE problem. The focus on holistic development of the tribal districts and effective and regular monitoring of implementation of various Government Schemes in far flung tribal areas has significantly enhanced the human resources.
Despite extremely hostile security environment, Odisha has successfully commissioned the ambitious Guripriya Bridge to connect the Cut-Off area of Malkangiri district, which is now called as ‘Swabhiman Anchal’. The State Government has also rolled out a Special Package for the people of the area in terms of connectivity, health care, electrification, education, etc, who are gradually integrating with the mainstream socio-economic and democratic activities.
The Odisha CM stated that induction of two additional Battalions of Central Armed Police Forces is imperative to effectively prevent the influx of outside LWE cadres.
He sought the support of the Government of India in early installation of mobile towers at 866 locations in the LWE affected areas and placement of a dedicated helicopter for the State. He suggested that railway connectivity projects to Malkangiri and Nabarangpur districts should be completed within 36 months.
For these projects, the State Government has committed to provide land free of cost and also bear a substantial portion of project cost. Banking infrastructure needs to be set up in the unbanked areas. He also requested that the pending Rs 227 crore under the SRE Scheme should be released early.
He urged the Central Government to waive the deployment charge of CAPFs, as ensuring the internal security is a constitutional obligation of the Union Government, a press note stated.
Notably, Union Home Minister Amit Shah today convened the meeting and met all the Chief Ministers of Naxal-hit States to discuss on the anti-Naxal operations and development activities in those areas. The meeting was convened for 11 States reeling under the red rebel menace.