State gets Rs 150 cr under SRE scheme

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: Centre on Tuesday approved Rs 150 crore for Orissa under security-related expenditure (SRE) scheme. Besides, the state government sought inclusion of four more Naxal-affected districts under Centre`s scheme and placing dedicated military choppers in Bhubaneswar and Koraput to fight the Maoist menace in the state more effectively.

Expressing concern over the growing internal violence, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said there can be no let up in the government`s efforts in the fight against terrorism and communal violence while inaugurating the conference of chief ministers’ on internal security today. 

The Prime Minister said as far as the left wing extremism was concerned, 2010 saw a decrease over the previous year in the number of incidents and causalities of security forces, though the number of causalities among civilians increased.

"Chhattisgarh, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand continue to be a cause for concern in view of the level of violence. The problems in Orissa and Maharashtra are also quite serious," he said.

On the other hand, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik stressed for inclusion of four districts–Kalahandi, Nuapada, Baragarh and Balangir bordering Chhatisgarh under the SRE scheme as left wing extremism (LWE) has grown manifold in recent years.

Patnaik also put forth state’s demand for modernization of police force to fight Naxal menace in the state. However, the joint operations to combat LWE have yielded satisfactory results lately, Patnaik added.

On the contrary, Prime Minister said, police have not achieved desired results as expected. The states should stress on police modernization, fill posts lying vacant, impart proper training and provide sophisticated weapons among others to tackle Maoist menace.