Naveen spent 35 nights in red zones, 99 ultras killed in 6 yrs



Bhubaneswar: Rejecting criticism from opposition parties, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Moday claimed to have spent 35 nights in Left-wing extremism hit areas during the last 12 years.

In a written reply in the Assembly, he also said 99 ultras had been killed in a duration of six-and-half years.

"The chief minister has spent 35 nights in Naxal-hit areas which helped to boost confidence of government servants and public in those places," Patnaik said.

The CM, who was often criticised by opposition Congress and BJP for failing to contain the Maoist menace, said 99 ultras were killed in operations by security personnel, while 959 rebels had been arrested till August this year from 2006.

Apart from this, 134 Maoists have surrendered before the police, he said. On the allegation of failing to control Maoist violence, Patnaik claimed that LWE activities had considerably reduced in nine of the 19 Maoist-hit districts.

The districts were -- Rayagada, Gajapati, Ganjam, Nayagarh, Jajpur, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur and Deogarh.

However, Patnaik said Maoist activities in certain areas of Malkangiri and Koraput districts in the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh borders and some places in Bolangir, Bargarh and Nuapada districts in Odisha-Chhattishgarh borders, remained high.

"We have been analysing reasons behind regular naxal activities in those areas. Underdevelopment, inadequate security infrastructure and inaccessibility of the areas help the Maoists to spread their activities in those places," Patnaik said.

Besides the state's elite anti-Maoist Special Operation Group, jawans of BSF and CRPF have been deployed in LWE hit areas of the state, Patnaik said, adding, steps were being taken to contain them.

PTI