Naveen asks for 2 CRPF battalions & a dedicated MI-17 helicopter

Bhubaneswar: As there is a clear and present danger posed by Maoists in areas of Odisha bordering Chhattisgarh, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday requested the Union Government to provide two additional battalions of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and one dedicated military helicopter, preferably a MI-17 helicopter to Odisha.
Speaking at the conference of chief ministers being convened by the Centre at New Delhi, Naveen said, “Because of heavy deployment of security forces across our border with Chhattisgarh state, armed Maoist groups are crossing over our side and indulging in violent activities. The deployment of force in the area is rather inadequate to conduct any meaningful operation and restrict their movement. Hence, I would request the Union Government to provide two additional battalions of Central Reserve Police Force for matching deployment in Nuapada, Baragarh and Bolangir districts and effective anti-Maoist operations”.
The CM also requested the Union Government to provide one dedicated military helicopter, preferably MI-17 helicopter to the state “to add more lethality and precision to the ongoing anti-Maoist activities in the state, particularly in southern and western Odisha”.
Presently, the state government has taken one Mi-172 helicopter on hire from Pawan Hans Helicopter Ltd (PHHL) to respond to any exigency. However, because of prolonged pilot strike, the services of MI-172 PHHL helicopter are often not available to the state for operational purposes.
The CM also asked for a one-time assistance to the state for upgradation of security infrastructure in the districts of Nuapada, Bolangir, Bargarh and Kalahandi.
The Union Government has included 19 districts of the state under the centrally-sponsored Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme. An amount of Rs 135.41 crores spreading over from 2005-06 to 2011-12 is yet to be reimbursed under this scheme. The CM requested the Union Government for early reimbursement of this amount.
Condemning the May 25 attack on Congress leaders in Bastar area, the CM said, “It was a direct attack on democracy and freedom. We strongly disagree with the ideology of the Maoists. The Maoists want to overthrow parliamentary democracy and Constitution of India through violent means. This must be resisted with all our might”.