NEW DELHI: The Madhya Pradesh government has urged the Centre to provide helicopters to assist security personnel in carrying out anti-naxal operations in parts of the state.
Addressing a meeting of naxal-hit states here, the state's Home Minster Bhoopendra Singh Thakur said helicopters are needed for operations against the left-wing extremists. "These helicopters are not available in Madhya Pradesh. Therefore, it is requested to provide choppers available with neighbouring Chhattisgarh state," he said.
As per the state government, nine districts of Madhya Pradesh-- Balaghat, Mandla, Dindori, Sidhi, Singrauli, Anuppur, Umaria, Shahdol and Seoni-- are naxal-hit. The Centre, however, considers only Balaghat as maoist- hit.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan could not attend the meeting, chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. "The state government has taken naxalism as a challenge and it is taking every step to eradicate it," Thakur said. He said special police units have been set up to take on the naxalites. Thakur said another 'hawk force' formed by the state government is involved in anti-naxal operations in parts of the state.
The Madhya Pradesh government plans to get the 'hawk force' personnel trained at the Greyhound training centre in Hyderabad. In 2016, two civilians were killed by naxals. Besides, there were five incidents of arson by maoists.
Thakur also sought financial assistance from the Centre for carrying out development work like construction of roads in naxal-affected areas and fortifying police stations under them.