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J'khand gets more central forces to fight Maoists

Centre has approved 24 more companies of paramilitary forces for Jharkhand to fight Maoists.

india Updated: Nov 23, 2003 19:29 IST

The central government has approved 24 companies of paramilitary forces for Jharkhand, in keeping with the longstanding demand of the state government for additional forces to fight Maoists.

At present, the state has 10 companies of paramilitary forces deployed in extremist-infested districts. The fresh arrivals will remain in the state for the next three years.

"By the end of December, 18 companies of paramilitary forces will arrive in the state and the remaining six will arrive in January next year," said a police official who attended the meeting of officials of nine states held in Bhubaneswar recently to coordinate operations against extremists.

Jharkhand has demanded additional companies of paramilitary forces so that the anti-extremist operation could continue throughout the year.

State officials had presented an action plan at the meeting saying lack of forces hampered anti-extremist operations.

Meanwhile, the meeting in Bhubaneswar between police chiefs, home secretaries and the Union Home Secretary also expressed concern over the rising cases of bank robberies in the state.

In the last two months, Maoists have targeted about half a dozen banks and looted about Rs 1 million and abducted six bank officials.

Maoist guerrillas are active in 18 of the 22 districts of the state. Nearly 430 people, including 148 policemen, have been killed since the creation of Jharkhand out of Bihar in November 2000.

First Published: Nov 23, 2003 16:35 IST