Centre asks Orissa to rush force for polls in 5 st

The Centre asked Orissa government to rush about 500 jawans of India Reserve Battalions for elections in five other states, official sources said.

Last Updated: Jan 05, 2012, 23:14 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: Refusing to provide additional central para-military forces (CPMF) to Orissa for the ensuing rural polls next month, the Centre instead asked the state government to rush about 500 jawans of India Reserve Battalions (IRB) for elections in five other states, official sources said.
"The Centre has asked us to send jawans of IRB for
elections in five states including Uttar Pradesh," home
secretary UN Behera told reporters here.

The central government used to fund the state
government to raise IRBs, sources said.

Stating that the state government would again review
the force requirement and availability for the ensuing
panchayat polls in the face of Maoist threats, the home
secretary said the existing central para-military force (5
battalions of BSF jawans and 7 battalion of CRPF force)
would be deployed at different places.

State Election Commissioner (SEC) A K Tripathy had
yesterday asked the state government to take up the matter
relating to requirement of central force for rural polls.
Initially the Centre had asked for 1500 jawans, but
later reduced their requirement to 500 IRB jawans following a
request by the state government, sources said adding that the
state presently had six battalions of IRB forces including two
battalions in training stage.

The state government had been facing challenges from
red rebels in 12 of the 30 districts.

"We have to meet the situation ahead with availability
of 5 battalions of BSF jawans, 7 battalions of CRPF personnel,
one battalion of CoBRA, state`s special operation group (SPG)
units," Director General of Police (DGP) Manmohan Praharaj
said.

Sources said the state would also not hesitate to use
dedicated helicopters for anti-Maoist operation in
transportation of election personnel in remote and highly
Maoist-infested districts.

PTI