Odisha CM demands rail, banking and telecom facilities in Maoist-affected dists

New Delhi: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today put forth demands before the Centre for better railway connectivity, banking and telecommunication facilities in Maoist-hit districts.

Odisha Chief Minister laid the demands during the the inter-state council meeting on anti-Maoist operations, presided over by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

“Districts of Nabarangpur and Malkangiri get railway connectivity. Our state government is willing to provide land free and also pay half the costs. Also for banking facilities in all the naxal-affected blocks, and telecommunication in the naxal affected areas. I am satisfied with my demands. I hope they comply with it,” Patnaik told reporters.

The Home Minister also reviewed the developmental activities being undertaken in Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-hit states.

Chief Ministers Nitish Kumar (Bihar), Yogi Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh), Kamal Nath (Madhya Pradesh), Raghubar Das (Jharkhand), Bhupesh Baghel (Chhattisgarh) besides top police and civil officials of 10 Maoist-affected states attended the meeting.

“The Home Minister reviewed ongoing operations against Maoists and the development activities undertaken in the affected areas,” an official said.

Top officials of paramilitary forces and the Home Ministry also attended the meeting, first of its kind after Shah assumed charge as Home Minister about three months ago.

The 10 Maoists-hit states are Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

According to Home Ministry statistics, 8,782 cases of Maoist-related violence were reported during 2009-13 as against 4,969 during 2014-18, a reduction of 43.4 per cent.

As many as 3,326 people, including security force personnel, lost their lives in 2009-13 as against 1,321 in 2014-18, a reduction of 60.4 per cent, the ministry said.

Around 1,400 Maoists were killed during 2009-2018. As many as 310 incidents of Maoist violence have been reported in the first five months of this year across the country in which 88 people were killed.

Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy had said last month that steadfast government policy has resulted in consistent decline in violence and shrinkage in geographical spread of Left Wing Extremism (LWE).

LWE-related violence was reported in only 60 districts in 2018.

“Of these, only 10 districts account for 2/3rd of LWE violence. The LWE-related incidents of violence between April 2014 and May 2019 have been 43 per cent lesser when comparing with the preceding five-year period,” he said.

The National Policy and Action Plan, approved in 2015 to address LWE, envisages a multi-pronged strategy involving security-related measures, development interventions, ensuring rights and entitlements of local communities.

The government is also implementing a special central assistance for most LWE-affected districts with an annual outlay of Rs 1,000 crore to fill critical gaps in public infrastructure and services. (With agency inputs)

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