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Odisha Okays Proposal to Remove 5 Districts from List of Areas under LWE-related Scheme

Representative Image.

Representative Image.

Director General of Police (DGP) Abhay said Angul, Boudh, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Nayagarh are the five districts where no Naxal activities were reported in the past two years.

The Odisha government on Friday approved a proposal of the state police to exclude five districts from the list of areas that are entitled to benefits under a central scheme for Left Wing Extremism-hit places.

Official sources said the state government will soon send a report in this regard to the Centre.

Director General of Police (DGP) Abhay said Angul, Boudh, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Nayagarh are the five districts where no Naxal activities were reported in the past two years.

The state government was apprised of the matter, and following necessary consultations, it approved the proposal to remove the names of these five places from the list of beneficiaries under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme, he said.

Urging all Maoists to shun violence and return to the mainstream with the help of the state-sponsored rehabilitation package, he said, "Odisha Police is committed to make the state left wing-extremism free."

"Thirteen Naxals had surrendered in 2019, while 17 reformed Maoists joined the mainstream in 2020. Add to that, five rebels, including state committee members of the outlawed CPI(Maoist), were recently neutralised in Kandhamal district," the DGP stated.

As many as 11 districts have been removed from the list of Maoist-hit areas in a span of two years, the Odisha police chief said.

"Apart from anti-Maoist operations, development activities in affected areas have also helped in reducing or eliminating Naxal violence. Seven major roads are under construction in Malkangiri, another LWE-hit district, and one of them is almost complete," he maintained.

Currently, 10 districts in the state have Maoist presence -- Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Sundergarh, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Bargarh and Bolangir -- he enumerated.

Odisha has been experiencing the scourge of Naxal activities for more than three decades, the DGP added.

Echoing him, IGP (Operation) Amitabh Thakur said robust security response and focused developmental activities have brought about a turnaround in the situation in the state, especially in the last few years.
In April 2018, six districts -- Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati and Ganjam -- became free from Naxal activities, following which these places were removed from the list of beneficiaries under the central government's SRE scheme -- which is aimed at capacity-building in Maoist-affected areas across the country.