Daily Archives: May 15, 2012

Naxal violence declined in 2011, says Odisha top cop

Rejecting the Centre’s charge that Odisha failed to contain Left Wing Extremism, the state’s director general of police on Tuesday claimed that Naxal violence had declined in 2011 compared to the year before.

“Naxal situation in most parts of the state had been controlled while it was a cause of concern for the state government in areas bordering Chattishgarh,” DGP Manmohan Praharaj wrote to Union Home Secretary RK Singh.

Claiming that Naxal activity in Malkangiri district was well under control, he said the Kalinga Nagar division of the CPI (Maoist) was no longer active.

Earlier, it was active in Keonjhar, Jajpur and Dhenkanal districts.

Similarly, Naxal violence had also declined in the districts of Sambalpur, Deogarh and Sundergarh, the DGP said but admitted that Narayanpatna area in Koraput district, parts of Kandhamal district and areas bordering Chhattisgarh had been a “cause of concern”.

The districts bordering Chhattisgarh where Naxal violence had increased comprised Nuapada, Balangir and Bargarh.

“We have expedited anti-Maoist operation in such areas,” Praharaj said.

The Home Ministry had in a communication to the DGP and principal secretary (home) of Odisha government referred to an “alarming” rise in the activities of Maoists and blamed the government for it.

“Odisha is the only state in India where activities of CPI (Maoists) are spreading to new areas at an alarming rate without requisite counter-measures by the state government,” the missive had said.

Maintaining that the Ministry of Home Affairs statistics provided at the Chief Ministers Conference in Delhi on May 16 indicated decline in the Naxal violence in the state, Praharaj said at least 194 Maoists had been arrested in the state by May 2012.

Similarly, 60 ultras have surrendered while 157 arms, 280 IED and huge ammunitions were seized during the period, DGP’s letter said, adding 23 Maoists were killed in exchange of fire between ultras and security personnel in 2011.

“At least four ultras had lost their lives during exchange of fire so far this year,” he said.

The state police had been in close coordination with the central para-military force, the DGP said, adding intelligence sharing between states and the Centre had been effective in tacking the LWE menace.

Defending the superintendents of police in different Maoist-hit districts, the DGP said that they had been working hard and been able to contain the violence despite scarcity of young IPS officers.

The state government had conducted several Unified Command meetings in order to establish better coordination between the state police, central force and other states.

State counters Centre claim on Red violence

The Odisha government on Monday countered the Centre’s claim that it had failed to deal with the alarming rise in Maoist activities in the state.

In reply to a letter from Union home secretary R K Singh, Odisha DGP Manmohan Praharaj said the state government was doing its best to quell the Maoist challenge and pointed out that violence and murders due to left wing extremism in the state had decreased in 2011 compared to 2010, according to statistics released by the Union home ministry at the chief ministers’ conference in New Delhi on April 16.

Highlighting anti-Maoist operations in Odisha, Praharaj said while 194 extremists were arrested between 2011 and May, 2012, as many as 60 others had surrendered to state police. During the period, 157 firearms were seized and 280 IED (improvised explosive device) and huge quantity of ammunition were recovered, sources said.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik said the DGP has given his response to the Union home secretary. “The overall situation in the state has improved and anti-Maoist operations in parts of Koraput, Kandhamal and districts bordering Chhattisgarh are being intensified,” he told reporters. He noted that the status report of the Union home ministry circulated at the CMs’ said the quantum of violence as well as killings had decreased in Odisha in 2011 in comparison to 2010. “We believe our concerted efforts will bring results and the situation will improve further,” he added.

Sources said the DGP, in his letter, pointed out that of the 23 Maoists killed in Odisha in 2011, the state police had eliminated 19 while the other four were killed due to joint effort of state police and central para-military forces. He also told Singh that despite the setbacks due to the twin hostage crisis triggered by Maoists abducting two Italian nationals, Bosusco Paolo and Claudio Colangelo, and Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka in March, four Maoists had been neutralized in the state this year, official sources said.

Praharaj maintained that Maoist violence had been contained in Malkangiri, Sundergarh, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Rayagada, Gajapati, Dhenkanal, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur and Keonjhar districts. He noted that extremist activities in Narayanpatna area of Koraput, parts of Kandhamal, Nuapada, Balangir and Bargarh had become a cause for concern and security operations in those areas had been stepped up.

The DGP further said it was because of the state government’s sustained efforts that the Centre had recently included Nuapada, Balangir and Bargarh districts under its Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme and added that the state had been spending from its own resources to improve security infrastructure all over the state to fight the Maoists.

Acclaimed litterateur juggles pen and scissors with aplomb

He is the recipient of Sarala Samman in 2008. Odisha Sahitya Academy felicitated him in 2010 for his contribution to the field of literature. But 83-year-old renowned litterateur and lyricist Binod Pasayat never fails to open his barber shop every morning.

“This is my bread and butter and literature is my hobby. So I maintain an equilibrium between my two professions,” smiles the octogenarian, who has numerous prestigious awards and citations to his credit. The writer of several plays and songs, considered an important figure in the history of Sambalpuri language, has no other source of income apart from his inherited profession.

Born in the year 1935 in Balangir town, Pasayat had to drop out of school after Class VIII to help his father in their ancestral profession because of their poor financial condition. Though he could not complete his studies, his passion for literature led him to shift his workplace to Sambalpur in 1953. “I came in contact with Murari Prasad Mishra, a renowned cultural figure of Sambalpur, and with his encouragement and support I started my literary career in Sambalpur,” recalls Pasayat. “But it was famous musician Arun Prasanna Seth who gave a new shape to my songs and I created one Sambalpuri song after another,” he reminisces.

However, it was Pasayat’s famous Sambalpuri play ‘Mui Nai Mare’ (I will never die) that brought him fame. In the play, the actor playing Ravan, the demon king of Lanka, refused to die at the hands of Ram because his wife suggested him not to die this time. Everyone, including the director tried a lot to persuade him to die, but he was rigid not to die this time. The play was a hit and Pasayat’s work was appreciated by one and all.

“The government should recognize his contribution by providing him a pension as a mark of respect to the artist,” says retired teacher and educationist Laxmikant Mishra.

DG, RSBY suggest Odisha name for National award for its operation process

 The modus operandi of Rastriya Swasthya Bima Yojana in the State of Odisha is really praiseworthy, says Director General of RSBY, Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India.

Inaugurating a sensitization workshop for Insurance Companies and Dist. Labour Officers, here in Bhubaneswar, DG of RSBY Mr. Nishanta Jain has commented that, he would suggest the name of Odisha State for National award for its operation process. Again he assured that, the next national seminar on RSBY will be held in Odisha as it putting its sincere effort for cent percentage coverage of BPL categories.

While reviewing the status of the RSBY, he laid emphasis on the pre as well as post awareness campaign for enrollment. Enrollment is as important as the claimants, he said. If enrollment is cent percentage and claims are low in comparison to the former, it clearly indicates that people are less aware about the utility of RSBY Smart Cards, he stressed.

The reviewed report indicate that in 12 districts like Jharsuguda, Deogarh, Nuapada, Puri, Raygada, Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Ganjam, Malkangiri, Gajapati, Sonepur and Baragarh enrollment is already completed. In rest 17 districts, the enrollment process is going on excluding Jagatsingpur where enrollment is yet to be started. Five insurance Companies namely New India Assurance Company Ltd., IFFCO TOKEY GIC Ltd., ICICI Lumbard, GIC Ltd., Star Health and Allied Insurance Company Ltd., and Royal Sundaram Ltd., are operating in 30 districts each in 5/6 districts.

As far as information is concerned, by end of 30th April, 18,04,200 BPL Card holders have been enrolled under RSBY and received RSBY Smart Cards. According to norm & conditions, 5 persons of a BPL Family can avail of the facility for free treatment of any diseases out of 1020 diseases up to expenditure of Rs. 30,000/- if they are hospitalized. In Odisha, 438 Government hospitals including PHCs, CHCs have been tied with the Rastriya Swasthya Bima Yojana programme.

Sambalpur Municipality chairperson looses no-trust motion

The chairperson of Sambalpur municipality of BJP lost in the no-confidence motion today.  Nineteen councillors of the 29-member Samabalpur Municipality had moved the no confidence motion against the chairperson of Sambalpur municipality, Reena Trivedi.  Following the motion, the administration had fixed May 7 as the day for voting.  

The chairperson Reena Trivedi had moved the Orissa high court against the voting. The high court had also imposed restriction on the counting of votes. The voting was held on May 7 and the ballot were kept in the sealed vote box. Twenty three councillors had voted on that day. But though the chairperson was present during the voting, she chose not to vote. On May 11, the High Court rejected the petition of the chairperson and directed for vote counting.   “As per the direction of the High Court, the vote counting was held today. 19 of the 23 councillors have voted for the no-confidence motion. One vote has been rejected and three councillors voted against the no-confidence motion.

Chairperson Reena Trivedi has lost in the no confidence motion,” said additional district magistrate, Madhab Chandra Bariha. “The vice chairperson of the municipality will remain in charge until a new chairperson of the municipality is elected,” said Bariha.   Twelve councillors of Congress, 7 dissident councillors of the BJP, 3 councillors of the BJP and one Independent councillor took part in the voting process.