MP CM seeks inclusion of 3 more districts in LWE-hit category

New Delhi, Aug 26 (PTI) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath asked the Centre on Monday to include three more districts of the state under left wing extremism-affected category and sought more special battalions for Naxal-hit areas.Two districts are already under the Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected category.During a day-long meet on Naxal issue here, the chief minister sought inclusion of Anuppur, Umaria and Dindori under the LWE-affected category, apart from the existing Balaghat and Mandla, a state government spokesperson said."The chief minister called for a coordinated strategy between the Centre and the state to check the (naxal) problem in these three districts. He also requested development works in the three districts be initiated on the lines of the integrated action plan," he said.Nath also asked for increasing the strength of India Reserve Battalions (IRBs) so that additional jawans can be deployed in Naxal-hit areas, he said quoting Nath's suggestions given during the meeting of the chief ministers.Enhancement of mobile network bandwidth to 4G levels in the Naxal-affected Balaghat and Mandla districts and other remote areas of the state were also sought by the chief minister at the meeting.This will help security agencies and administration to share and collect information in a better way, Nath said."In absence of 3G and 4G services in backward areas, communication system is not effective. Services of BSNL are not satisfactory in backward areas and therefore private telecom operators should be brought in these areas for effective 3G and 4G network coverage," he said. Nath informed the meeting that the communication network in these Maoist-affected areas was heavily dependent on police wireless systems, and due to poor telephone and mobile network coverage, 50 per cent of tribal blocks only have 2G connectivity.He was speaking at a day-long conference held at Vigyan Bhawan in the national capital to review the Left-Wing Extremism situation. The meeting was chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.Nath also requested the Centre to sanction Rs 33.74 crore for construction of two roads and a bridge in Balaghat, and two roads and three bridges in Mandla.The Madhya Pradesh chief minister also requested the Union government to help the state in opening institutes such as ITI and polytechnic colleges so that youth of the Naxal-affected areas get "gainful employment and are weaned away from left-wing ideology."He said the state government had created a special police force called 'Hawk' in 2000 and has initiated development policies in the state to counter the Naxal problem."This has resulted in limiting Naxalism in only two districts of the state which border Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. The state police has been instructed to coordinate with their counterparts, and greater emphasis has been put on modernisation of the police force," Nath said.The police force has been equipped with modern gadgets such as trackers, GPS, drones, trap cameras, body protective armour and jungle terrain vehicles, the chief minister said.The state aims for enhanced financial inclusion of locals and tribals residing in the two LWE-affected districts, Nath said.In his presentation, the chief minister said at present, there are 6.6 bank branches for every one lakh population in Balaghat and Mandla against the state's average of 10.58.To deal with such a situation, the state government has launched a financial literacy campaign, Nath said.Eleven chief ministers participated in the conference. PTI NES NES NSDNSD