State Seeks Heli Support

State Government has sought Heli-Support for the Centre to taken on the Maoists, which are active in hostile topography of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand Borders.

While the Anti-Maoist Operations in the state have yielded results, Dedicated Helicopter Service is needed to take on and withstand any eventuality, admitted a senior official in Department of Home.

Accordingly, the State Government has approached Ministry of Home affairs (MHA) for Heli-Support to meet any possible occurrence of the situation in Red Corridor.

In the present scenario, Central Armed Police Force(CAPF)s are focusing on specific areas of concerns, which have been identified.

Those areas include, Cut-Off Zone of Malkangiri, Tulsi Dongri in Odisha-Chhattisgarh Border and other areas like Inter-State Operational Zone of CPI (Maoist) along Andhra Pradesh.

Central Forces are to be mobilized as and when it is necessary for taking up Anti-Maoist Operations and in absence of a Dedicated Helicopter Service, difficulties are being faced by the State Government in this regard.

While a chopper is stationed in Chhattisgarh, which is also utilized in the neighboring state, and as and when it is required, requisition is being sent.

However it is a time consuming process and at the required time period, Heli-Support is not available for Anti-Maoist Operations.

There are 16 Battalions of CAPF and for their movement, a Dedicated Helicopter Service is needed, said the State Government in its recent request to MHA, said sources.

Similarly, a CoBRA Battalion from Odisha has been withdrawn from the Operational Grid of Odisha and no CoBRA Jawans are available for anti-Ultra Operations, which is necessary.

So the State Government has again requested the MHA for restoration of CoBRA Operational Team to take up Operations against Ultras in Odisha.

CoBRA Battalion was raised in Koraput and the district is “Worst Affected District” by the Left Wing Extremists (LWE)s.

While MHA is appreciating the efforts of Odisha in regard to Anti-Maoist Operations and positive results being yielded, Centre is reluctant to reimburse Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Grants, which have been already incurred.

Around Rs.50 Crore of SRE Grant is yet to be released to Odisha, though, it is pending for last so many years and State Government is time and again reminding MHA in this regard, said an official.

State Government in its request has also submitted a memorandum to the MHA, while requesting for two additional battalions of Central Armed Police Forces.

While Chhattisgarh is having 44 Battalions and Jharkhand has got 23 CAPF Battalions and Odisha is having 16 Battalions to combat LWEs.

So there is gross asymmetric deployment of forces in Porous Border , for which State is facing tough time to guard the Border Zones, which are soft target of the Ultras, Top Cops admit.

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