Unacceptably high deaths in Maoist violence: PC

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram told the Orissa and Jharkhand governments that casualties in Maoist violence were "unacceptably high".

Updated: Nov 09, 2011, 21:43 PM IST

Ranchi/Bhubaneswar: Union Home Minister P
Chidambaram on Wednesday told the Orissa and Jharkhand governments
that civilian and security force casualties in Maoist violence
were "unacceptably high" and should be brought down.

"The number of civilian and security personnel casualties
is still unacceptably high. First it should drop considerably.
I think a lot of work is to be done," he told reporters at
Ranchi after a visit to Orissa.
"Between June and October there have been some
significant successes, but I don`t think we can rest on our
successes (as) the level of violence (in Jharkhand) is still
unacceptably high," he said.

From three battalions in the state five to six years ago,
he said the state now had 14 CRPF and two CoBRA battalions,
besides its own 13,000-14,000 personnel to combat Maoists.

After reviewing steps and actions being taken by the
state against Maoists in the presence of Chief Minister Arjun
Munda, Chidambaram said Jharkhand was one of the most affected
states as far as Left-wing extremism was concerned and roughly
130 police station areas were affected.

Stating that the Centre would stand by but it was the
state`s responsibility to deal with Maoists, he hoped that
there would be `greater and greater` results in the future.

Reviewing the progress of infrastructural work in the
14 districts covered in the Integrated Action Plan (IAP), he
said on the physical side 50 per cent work was complete and on
the financial side 58 per cent.
Chidamabaram expected 70 per cent infrastructural work in
Jharkhand to be completed by the end of November and 95 per
cent to 100 per cent by March as per targets set.

"We are giving Rs 55 crore to each of district (under the
IAP). It`s a lot of money, and a lot of infrastructure can be
placed, and I am reasonably satisfied with the progress, but I
will continue to monitor it."

Earlier in Bhubaneswar, he told the Orissa government to
"learn" from other states and the Centre to tackle Maoists.

"I have learnt their (state) problems. Now Orissa should
learn a little more from other states and the Centre... the
state administration and the police should gain mastery over
the situation," he said after a meeting with Chief Minister
Naveen Patnaik.

"The number of casualty of civilian and security forces
stand at 48 by the end of October. By end of the year, it may
go a little beyond 50. This is unacceptably high level of
casualty," he said.

Pointing out that about 60 police station areas were
affected by Left-wing extremists, Chidambaram said, "Four
years ago, we had only four battalions of central armed police
in the state. Today, their number is 13 battalions besides one
battalion of Cobra force.

"Effectively, we inducted about 10,000 more central
armed constables and officers in the state. I have impressed
upon the state administration to show results," he said.

Maintaining that the level of violence was still high
and unacceptable, Chidambaram hoped that the "edge of the
Naxalites will be blunted."

The chief minister, however, claimed that there was a
decline in Maoist related casualty in the state in comparison
to the previous years.

"We have made much progress on the Maoist front," he
said.

PTI