Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Koraput, Feb 19:
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today appealed to the Maoists to give up arms and join the mainstream, during his day-long visit to Odisha.
Singh arrived at the district headquarters town here on a one-day visit to the state to review the left wing extremism (LWE) situation in Koraput and Malkangiri.
“I appeal to the Maoists to shun violence and join mainstream. The security personnel are forced to retaliate at them. The government is ready to hold talks and they should avail the benefits of developmental schemes launched by the Modi government,” Rajnath Singh told reporters here after the review meeting.
Singh arrived here this morning from Visakhapatnam to assess the anti-Maoist operations underway in the state where top officials of the state police, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and district administration participated in it.
Home Secretary Asit Tripathy, Director General of BSF KK Sharma, DG CRPF K Durga Prasad, DGP KB Singh, IG (Operations) Soumendra Priyadarshi, Director Intelligence Sunil Roy, additional Director General of Police, Odisha Human Rights Protection Cell Manoj Chhabria, Koraput district collector Jaya Kumar V and Malkangiri district collector Prashant Kumar Reddy were present in the meeting.
Notably, the Maoist menace in neighbouring Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) area has become a cause of concern as it is apprehended that the members of the outlawed groups may sneak into Odisha.
It may be mentioned that at least eight battalions of BSF, two battalions of CRPF and one battalion of Cobra forces have been deployed in Koraput district.
Later, Singh is scheduled to meet Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at state secretariat in the afternoon.