Noting that Maoist violence was high in Odisha despite deployment of about 10,000 central armed forces, Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday asked the state to “learn” from other states and the Centre to tackle the menace.
“I have learnt their (state) problems. Now Odisha should learn a little more from other states and the Centre ... the state administration and the police should gain mastery over the situation,” Mr. Chidamabaram told reporters here after a meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
“The number of casualty of civilian and security forces stand at 48 by the end of October. By end of the year, it may go a little beyond 50. This is unacceptably high level of casualty,” he said.
Pointing out that about 60 police station areas were affected by Left-wing extremists, Mr. Chidambaram said, “Four years ago, we had only four battalions of central armed police in the state. Today, their number is 13 battalions besides one battalion of Cobra force.
“Effectively, we inducted about 10,000 more central armed constables and officers in the state. I have impressed upon the state administration to show results,” he said.
Maintaining that the level of violence was still high and unacceptable, Mr. Chidambaram hoped that the “edge of the Naxalites will be blunted.”
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, however, claimed that there was a decline in Maoist related casualty in the state in comparison to the previous years.
“We have made much progress on the Maoist front,” Mr. Patnaik said.