Chidambaram asks Andhra to keep up pressure on Maoists

March 6th, 2009 - 6:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, March 6 (IANS) Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram Friday asked Andhra Pradesh to keep up the pressure on Maoists and also called for impoving urban policing in view of terror threats.
Praising the state for showing remarkable results in anti-Maoist operations, he advised the authorities to keep up the pressure. He termed as ’successful’ the anti-Maoist operations of Greyhounds, the elite anti-Maoist police force.

“I think the police forces have the upper hand now. Barring one incident on the Andhra-Orissa border, where 34 people died, the number of casualties in 2008 was among the lowest,” he told a news conference.

He was referring to the Maoist attack on a Greyhounds boat in a river in Orissa near the Andhra Pradesh border.

The union home minister, who reviewed the security situation in the state with the chief minister and other senior officials, said the preparedness level in the state was high but called for improving the urban policing in view of the terrorist threats.

“Four (police) commissonerates have been advised to improve urban policing. Key to urban policing is visibility, mobility and fire power. The chief minister has directed the DGP and commissioner of Hyderabad to implement some of the measures already implemented in Delhi and Mumbai,” he said.

Chidambaram advised the urban police authorities to station some quick reaction teams in select places so that the reaction can be very quick.

He said Andhra Pradesh would have a 256-member strong commando force on the lines of the National Security Guard (NSG). “They will be trained with the help of NSG. They will be as effective as NSG.”

He said the NSG hub would also come up in Hyderabad. “We are looking for 25 acres of land and we have identified some land, which we hope to get in the next few weeks. The deadline for establishing and making all NSG hubs in the country operational is June 30,” he said

On coastal security, he advised Andhra Pradesh, which has a 1,000-km coastline, to follow the example of Kerala by giving mobile telephones to each coastal fisherman. “They will immediately inform the police about any suspicious activity, boat and person in sea or on the shore.”

The state authorities have identified 508 coastal villages. Identity cards will be issued to the villagers under the new programme taken up by the central government.

Six coastal police stations have already been constructed. Chidambaram promised to look into the state’s request for 50 more coastal police stations in nine districts.

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