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Naxal menace: Nitish wants special package

The Bihar CM requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to announce the special package and provide appropriate assistance to the state.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2006 20:11 IST

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday urged the Centre to provide a special package to the state for the implementation of various development programmes aimed at checking growing Naxal violence there.

Participating in the Second Meeting of the Standing Committee of Chief Ministers of Naxal-affected States, Kumar requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to announce the special package and provide appropriate assistance to the state.

"We need more central assistance to implement the development schemes. A package is the need of the hour, so that different schemes can be implemented smoothly. We have already sent this package to the Central Government. We admit that the package does not contain any new schemes. However, the package envisages action plan to implement the programmes that can create positive developmental impact."

Pointing out that 32 of 38 districts of Bihar are affected by the Naxal problem, he said the menace was in the initial stages in many districts and could be controlled by an effective strategy. He enumerated the various development programmes and schemes launched by his government since it took charge of the state.

Stating that the state government had taken the problem of extremism as a challenge, he demanded that a air support unit be established at Bihta (Patna) and Purnea to make the state police more effective in emergency operations. He urged the centre to allocate two helicopters for in these units.

Nitish also urged the Centre to expand the SRE scheme from the present 14 districts to include the remaining 18 Naxal-affected districts of the state. He also demanded strengthening of SSB deployment along the Indo-Nepal border in the state.

Regretting that no police training institute was in Bihar after bifurcation, the Chief Minister said the state had raised 'Special Auxiliary Police' of 5000 ex-army personnel to meet the shortage of trained forces and dependence on central forces. "These Auxillary policemen are kept on a contract and get Rs 10,000 per month involving an expenditure of Rs 67 crore per year." He urged the Centre to provide 50 percent of the amount in the form of grant.

The Chief Minister urged the Centre to permit the state governments to use central forces deployed in the state for anti-Naxal operations for combating organised crime, control of serious communal and law and order problems. He said that due to pre-occupation and prior commitment of state forces in anti-extremist work, the use of central forces was imperative to maintain peace and protect the people and government establishments in emergencies.

He said that security in jails was being strengthened in view of the Jehanbad jail-break and Bihar military police was specially being trained to combat extremism. A task forces had been constituted on the pattern of grey hounds in Andhra Pradesh but its strength needed to be increased, he added.

First Published: Apr 13, 2006 20:11 IST