New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Tuesday urged the central government to include six more districts bordering neighbouring states under the Special Development Plan (SDP) in Left Wing Extremist (LWE) areas and take other steps to prevent regrouping of Maoists.
The districts of Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Warangal and Karimnagar, which are located on the Andhra-Orissa and Andhra-Chhattisgarh borders, may be included under SDP, said Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy while addressing the conference of chief ministers on internal security here.
He said six districts which are hotbed of Maoist extremism should be brought under SDP like the two districts of Khammam and Adilabad.
He also urged the central government to approve the proposal for development of a corridor of road network on the state’s borders with Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.
The chief minister also called for stationing a helicopter with a capacity to carry 35 personnel at Visakhapatnam for facilitating swift airborne operations in the hostile terrain on the Andhra Pradesh-Orissa border.
“There is dire need for developing infrastructure, particularly a network of roads that can buttress operations along inter-state borders of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Maharashtra states, considering that Maoists have been using these places as shelter zones.”
He also suggested that the expenditure on counter-terrorism measures in the states be brought under SRE funds, like in the case of left-wing extremism.
Reddy claimed that a judicious combination of law and order and socio-economic measures has helped address the problem of left-wing extremism. The number of armed underground cadre has come down from about 1,100 in 2004 to below 150 in 2011 in Andhra Pradesh.
He said the state had been dealing with both left-wing extremism and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorism with remarkable results and added that the state is prepared to face any challenge.
“During the last one year, we have achieved outstanding results in apprehending top functionaries of CPI-Maoists in addition to striking at the company formations on the Andhra-Orissa border,” he said.
He underlined the need to relax norms for according permission to lay roads in the reserve forests of Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts, as the Eastern Ghats running through the problem areas render combat operations difficult.
Stating that Andhra Pradesh faced stray terrorist attacks since 1992, particularly in and around Hyderabad city, he said terrorist groups have been targeting vulnerable youths in Gulf countries as well as fugitive communal offenders, indoctrinating and training them outside the country.
“We have initiated a senes of measures, including reforms in education, to improve the socio-economic condition of the target population at madrasas. A new counter terrorist organization called OCTOPUS’, on par with the elite NSG (National Security Guard) has been established to function as a commando unit for interventions in urban areas,” he said.
Listing out the steps taken to buttress coastal security, Reddy said the state established all the six marine police stations sanctioned in Phase-I by the central government.
“We are in the process of setting up 15 more Marine Police Stations in the second phase, as we need to cover the 974 km-long coastline,” he said.