BHUBANESWAR: The BJP on Sunday demanded resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for what it claimed his failure to contain the increasing Maoist menace. Abduction of two Italian nationals and ruling BJD legislator from Laxmipur Jhina Hikaka by the Maoists is the result of intelligence failure. The Chief Minister being the Home Minister has no moral ground to continue in the office as his Government failed to provide security to a lawmaker of his party and foreign nationals, said BJP spokesperson Ashok Sahu.
Maoist attacks have been on the rise from 2008. As the striking capability of State Police did not match proportionately to counter these attacks, casualties from Maoist terrorism have gone up, he said.
The BJP leaders said the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has rapped the State Government for failing to have a long-term perspective plan for modernisation of police force (MPF) and lopsided allocation of Central assistance to the Left-wing extremist (LWE)-affected and non-affected districts.
The audit report also pointed out that shortage of trained manpower to handle sophisticated weapons in the some of the LWE-hit districts was 78 per cent.
While police personnel are falling to bullets of the Maoists, weapons worth Rs 14.80 crore, including sophisticated ones worth Rs 13.83 crore, are stored at the Central Arms Store in Cuttack without issuing these to field units. This is despite 61 per cent shortage of such weapons in eight LWE-affected districts.
Even as the Maoist menace has spread to 19 districts, more than 12,000 posts are lying vacant in the police department. Despite utilisation of Rs 7.36 crore on computerisation and communication, police networking, crime data sharing and transmission are yet to be achieved, the CAG report said.
This is a deliberate attempt by the Chief Minister to weaken the State Police at a time when cops, deployed in the Maoist- affected districts, are like sitting ducks, Sahu charged.
At least 55 per cent of the total allocation was utilised on construction of buildings. But only 11.5 per cent funds were spent on important works like communication, computerisation, forensic science and intelligence gathering which are crucial to improve the operational efficiency of police in dealing with rising Maoist activities, Sahu said quoting the CAG report.
The State Level Empowering Committee (SLEC), headed by the Chief Secretary, which was supposed to monitor the implementation of the MPF scheme, has also miserably failed. He sought to know from the Chief Minister what action is he contemplating against the ‘erring’ Chief Secretary and the Director-General of Police (DGP).