BHUBANESWAR: Claiming that the State has remained largely peaceful, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday said Left Wing Extremism (LWE) has substantially declined in 11 districts of Odisha.
Maoist activity and violence have been contained as the number of incidents and deaths of civilian and security personnel is much less than neighbouring States of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
In 51 incidents in the State till September, 18 civilians and security personnel lost their lives due to LWE while the number of deaths in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand is 75 and 23 respectively during the same period, the Chief Minister said while replying to the discussion on supplementary demands for grants of the Home and General Administration departments.
The Chief Minister said the intensity of Maoist activities is on the decline now as there is perceptible improvement in the situation in Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Ganjam, Gajapati, Nabarangpur, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Sundargarh and Nayagarh during the year.
However, he did not mention about the districts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Nuapada, Kalahandi and Balangir where the situation has remained sensitive.
Stating that the pro-active measures taken by his Government have made a positive impact on Maoist militia and their sympathisers, the Chief Minister said 63 extremists have surrendered so far. Besides, 1,034 villagers, including active militia of Malkangiri district, have withdrawn support to Maoists, he said.
“Our development initiatives coupled with social security measures are making an impact on these areas. The State Government has been focusing on continuously upgrading the operation capacity of security forces as well as infrastructure in Maoist-affected areas,” Naveen said.
On improvement of prosecution system raised by Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra, the Chief Minister said the present system of supervision of prosecutors by the Home and Law departments is being reviewed to achieve greater professionalism and accountability of prosecutors.
District Level Standing Committees headed by Superintendents of Police have been asked to review the acquittal orders and suggest remedial measures, he said.
In order to provide better and quick services to citizens, Odisha police has launched an online citizens portal under crime and criminal tracking network system (CCTNS) project, the Chief Minister said.
Disputing the Chief Minister’s claim, senior BJP leader KV Singhdeo said LWE activities have grown significantly in all the districts. He cited several incidents in Balangir district where police and security forces have failed to protect the lives of common people who fell victim to Maoist violence. Members of the Opposition Congress and BJP staged a walkout alleging that the Chief Minister did not respond to the issues raised by them.