MHA, Governor differ on Maoist figures

Bhubaneswar: The Union home ministry in its report on naxal activities in the nation has admitted that Odisha has been as badly affected by left wing extremism as three neighbouring states Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar. The MHA report said that the two states of West Bengal and Maharashtra were partially affected by Maoist activities while Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh were affected to a very little extent.

Interestingly, the Governor in his address on the opening day of the budget sesion today said in the state assembly that naxali related violent incidents had increaseed in the state in 2011 in comparison to 2010. The Governor, citing figures, said that while 130 Maoist incidents were registered in 2010, the number declined to 100 in 2011.

The MHA report provided figures of naxal related caualties in the nation. The report said that while 591 civilians were killed by the ultras in 2009, the number mounted to 720 in 2010 while it declined to 464 in 2011. The report stressed that the Maoists did not spare schools in the naxal affected areas. In 2009 the Maoists had blown off 71 schools while for 2010 the figure stood at 39. The Maoists had blown off 27 schools in 2011, the report revealed.

The startling revelations made in the report were about the links of the CPI(Maoist) with terrorist organisations based in foreign countries. The report categorically stated that CPI(Maoist) organisation had closed links with terrorist organisations based in Turkey and Philipines. The Maoists too had close connections with Kashmir separatists, the report revealed.

The report said that 74 battallions of para-military forces were presently enganed in anti-naxal operations in the country.  A meeting of chief secretaries and DGs of naxal affected states has been convened in New Delhi for Wednesday. Union home minister P Chidambaram would preside over the meeting. Odisha would raise some special demands in the meeting. "The Centre must include four more districts in the SRE scheme,"said chief secretary Bijoy Pattanaik. The other demans included two more helicopters and two battalions of BSF security personnel for anti-naxal operations.