Govt. goes ahead with first phase of para-military pull out from Kandhamal

January 15th, 2009 - 10:43 pm ICT by ANI  

Bhubaneshwar, Jan.15 (ANI): At least 12 companies (over 1200 personnel) of the Central Para-Military force, including seven companies from Orissas Kandhamal district, have been withdrawn from Orissa on Thursday.
Senior officials have stated that the step, which has come up in compliance with the Governments decision taken a few days earlier, will not cause any negative impact on law and order situation.
“Withdrawal of central force from Kandhamal in phased manner will in no way affect law and order situation in the riot-hit district,” Orissas Home Secretary A. P. Padhi told media.
According to Director General of Police, Manmohan Praharaj, the first phase force withdrawal is not going to have any adverse impact on the security arrangements in Kandhamal.
Besides Kandhamal, central force was also deployed in the districts of Ganjam, Gajapati, Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Sambalpur and Baragarh.
As complete normalcy had returned in other places except Kandhamal, the force withdrawal will have no adverse impact on law and order situation, the Home Secretary said.
Orissa government, however, was hopeful of retaining about 2000 jawans in riot-hit district till the coming Lok Sabha elections despite todays withdrawal.
As many as 53 companies (over 5300 personnel) of central force had been deployed in seven districts of the state, 40 in Kandhamal alone, following the large scale violence that erupted after 83-year-old Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader and anti-religious conversion activist Laxamananda Saraswathis killing in August, 2008.
“As many as 33 of the 53 companies of central force will be withdrawn from Orissa by the end of March, leaving behind about 20 companies till the elections,” Manmohan Praharaj, the DGP said.
The second phase that comprises five companies of force, will start from January 23. Later, another five companies of force will return from Orissa during the month of February.
Stating that newly recruited personnel of the upcoming Special Security Battalion (SSB) will replace the central force in Kandhamal, the DGP said the police have already recruited more than 700 ex-defence personnel.
“Today itself, some more former defence personnel will be recruited in the police,” said, adding recruitment of one full battalion would be completed by January end. “There will be no shortage of force for Kandhamal after raising of the SSB,” he added.
As the former defence personnel require less training, they would be immediately pressed into service in Kandhamal before March, the time by which half of the para-military forces are to be withdrawn from the district, he said.
The State Home Secretary, however, admitted that nearly 7,000 people were still in relief camps located at different places of Kandhamal. “The people living in relief camps will be provided with adequate security with the available force in Kandhamal. They should have no fear at all,” the Home Secretary said.
Besides raising the SSB, the state government was also in the process of recruiting tribal youths as ‘’special police” who will subsequently become part of the state police, he said, adding that steps were taken for meeting the force requirements of the state. (ANI)

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