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Orissa to retain 40 companies of Central forces till October end

Source: PTI
September 15, 2008 17:55 IST
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Alarmed over fresh violence ahead of the festival season, the Orissa government on Monday asked the Centre to allow it to retain Central para-military forces dispatched in the wake of Kandhamal riots till October end, official sources said.

Orissa has already received 40 companies (one company comprises 90 personnel) of Central para-military forces after communal violence erupted following the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Laxmananda Saraswati.

The state also asked the Centre to retain the only helicopter sent by it for another week, they said.

The decision to retain Central forces and a chopper was taken at a review meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy and attended by Home Secretary T K Mishra, Special Relief Commissioner N K Sundaray, Revenue Secretary G V V Sarma and other senior officials.

They said the impending Durga puja and Id festival could require more security arrangements across the state in the backdrop of Kandhamal violence.

Describing the situation in Kandhamal as "satisfactory", the home secretary said the government also requested Union Home Ministry to recall six companies of Border Security Force as "they did not fit into the situation" in Orissa.

"Though BSF personnel were highly professional, their nature of work is (however) not required here," he said adding the state instead needed Central Reserve Police Force jawans or Rapid Action Force personnel to deal with any riot like situation.

Though the law and order situation across the state was "under control", Mishra said sporadic violence was taking place in some villages of Kandhamal district.

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