The Orissa government must improve its police force to deal with communal and Naxalite violence, the Centre said on Sunday.
“We have provided the Orissa government with more than adequate paramilitary forces and helicopters to deal with the situation, but the state needs to improve its policing,” Home Minister Shivraj Patil told Hindustan Times.
Patil said state governments need to realise that: “Better economic development would only be possible in an ambience of good security. States need to increase their spending on police modernisation and sophisticated equipments to deal with challenges of communalism and naxal violence.”
A senior Home Ministry official said: “The state needs to modernise and expand its police force.”
Nearly one thousand Central Reserve Police Force personnel have been stationed in Orissa since more than a year, and after fresh communal violence in Kandhamal and Koraput districts, the number of central paramilitary forces deployed in the state is more than 5,000, the official said.
“The tendency of the states to depend on the Centre for rushing paramilitary forces frequently in case of unrest has led to the neglect of police forces in terms of priority planning. When the spending on developmental projects is going up, why should the police be ignored ?” the official remarked.
The Orissa government said it needed more paramilitary forces to deal with the situation in communal riots-hit Kandhamal and other areas.
“I spoke to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and sought ten more companies of forces. They should be
arriving by Monday,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters in Bhubaneswar.
Patnaik said the people in relief camps in Kandhamal were being provided with essential commodities, and the situation in Koraput was “under control.”
The communal riots in Orissa following the murder of senior VHP leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati on August 22 sparked the riots that have killed 14 people in Orissa.