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Battle Maoists jointly: PM
Published on 25 Oct. 2009 10:48 PM IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Sunday that the central and state governments needed to fight the Maoists together. Reiterating that the Maoist movement had emerged as the biggest internal security threat, Manmohan Singh told reporters here that “everything” needed to be done to overcome the problem. He said while the law and order mechanism had to be strengthened, it was also necessary to tackle economic issues that create alienation among the deprived communities. The prime minister declined to reveal the discussions he had had with West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on the violence unleashed by the Maoists. “Both the state and central governments have an obligation to control the Naxalite problem,” he said. The prime minister’s comments follow a dramatic surge in Maoist violence in the country. The movement, which emerged in 1967, has claimed thousands of lives over the past four decades. Heavy gunbattle in Chhattisgarh A fierce gun battle was raging between a Chhattisgarh police contingent and Maoist guerrillas early Sunday in a forested stretch of Bijapur district in which a rebel was killed and some explosives recovered, police said. The encounter was on in a thickly forested hamlet of Basaguda in Bijapur district, some 500 km south of capital Raipur. The area is part of the state’s 40,000 sq km Bastar region that is home to thousands of leftist militants since the late 1980s. “A fierce gun fight in on. We have encircled a group of Maoists in their stronghold but they are retaliating to the firing by police,” T.J. Longkumer, inspector general of police, Bastar range, told IANS. He said that police have dragged out a bullet-riddled body of a Maoist from the battle site, adding that the exact casualty figure would be known once the fight ends. Police have also recovered a loaded gun and some explosives in the form of tiffin bomb. WB to revamp 30 police stations Under assault from Maoists, the West Bengal government Sunday said it would spend Rs 7.5 crores to revamp security in and around 30 police stations across three rebel-dominated districts in the state. “We have decided to revamp security arrangements in all 30 police station areas of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia district. We’ll strengthen these police stations with additional forces and will also provide special training to the police personnel so that they can combat any sudden Maoist attack in future,” state Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen told reporters here. He said the government would also put up concrete walls to fence off these police stations areas. “Special training would be given to these police personnel who will be posted across these 30 police stations areas. The training would be imparted to enhance their alertness,” Sen said, adding the government has already identified all these police stations that will have security beef-up. Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Sunday convened an emergency meeting at the state secretariat Writers’ Buildings to asses the security situation in Maoist-affected areas in the state. Apart from Sen, the meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty, state Director General of Police Bhupindar Singh, Kolkata Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty, Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Surajit Kar Purakayastha and many other senior state police officials. “Initially the state director general of police (Bhupindar Singh) submitted a proposal worth Rs.7.5 crore which would be spent to revamp these 30 police stations across the Maoist-affected region,” Sen said.

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