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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: The Odisha government has urged the Centre to provide two more battalions of the Central forces to tackle left-wing extremism (LWE) in the State, Chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi informed the media after attending a meeting of chief secretaries of seven Maoist-hit States in New Delhi on Friday.

Official sources said the state government has sought two battalions of any of the central armed forces like Boarder Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) or Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

Besides, the State government has also demanded the inclusion of Sonepur, Boudh and Angul districts in the Security Related Expenses (SRE) scheme of the Centre. This apart the State government has sought Rs 142 crore from Centre for construction of Gurupriya bridge in Malkangiri district.

Currently, the Centre has deployed total 17 battalions of central armed police forces, including eight battalions each of CRPF and BSF and one battalion of Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA), a specialized unit of the CRPF, in the State to tackle the LWE situation. Besides deputation of central forces, the State government has also deployed the state police and district voluntary force (DVF).

Odisha government’s proposal for additional forces on Friday suggests that the Maoist situation has worsened in Odisha and not improved as the state government has been claiming of late.

Since the LWE situation is still challenging in districts like Malkangiri, Koraput, Nuapada, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Balangir, Nayagarh and Bargarh, more forces are likely to be deployed in these districts.

Sources said the situation has improved in districts like Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati, Ganjam, Nabarangapur, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Sundargarh.

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