Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 7:
The Union government has once again turned down the Odisha government’s request to waive charges towards deployment of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF) in Maoist-hit areas in the state.
In response to a letter written by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has rejected outright Odisha’s request to waive Rs 1500 crore towards Central forces deployment in the state to check Maoist-related violence.
In a letter dated September 1, 2015, Rajnath Singh, while maintaining that waiver is not possible, has said the Centre has plans to lower the expenses towards Central forces in the special category north-east states, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh etc. The special category states bear 10 % of the expenses incurred towards deployment of Central forces. However, other states are required to pay the full expenses towards it. As Centre incurs huge expenditure towards shifting of forces in the LWE-hit states, the concerned states would bear the bills towards it, Singh clarified.
Notably, Naveen Patnaik had written to Narendra Modi in June this year highlighting that Left Wing Extremism (LWE) is a national issue and considering the security of people and property,the Centre should not impose charges towards deployment of forces on states like Odisha.
Patnaik had also written to Rajnath Singh terming the charges towards deployment of forces as “unreasonable”.
“It is the responsibility of both the Union Government and the states to fight Left Wing Extremism in various parts of the country, including Odisha, by pooling together their resources,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had said in his letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
As per an estimate, Odisha had outstanding bills of Rs 1096 crore towards deployment of Central forces by December 2013. The amount increased to Rs 1450 crore by the end of 2014. It is expected to cross Rs 1600 crore by the end of this year.
As many as 17 battalions of central paramilitary security personnel have been deployed in 18 Maoist-hit districts in the state. Besides, Odisha has been urging Centre to move another two battalions of forces along its Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh borders.
While Chhattisgarh has 45 battalions of CRPF personnel deployed in the trouble-torn districts, 11 battalions more will be mobilised soon.
“Due to deployment of heavy security personnel in neighbouring Chhattisgarh, members of the outlawed groups are sneaking into Odisha. In view of this, there should be more deployment of Central forces in the state,” a senior official said on condition of anonymity.