Patnaik to attend meet on anti-Maoist operations

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will attend the crucial meeting on anti-Maoist operations union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has called at Chhattisgarh capital Raipur Friday, officials said here Thursday."Patnaik is scheduled to go tomorrow (Friday) along with senior officials of the state home and police department," a senior official of the Chief Minister's Office told IANS.Orissa has been demanding more central forces to tackle the Maoists who are active in over half of the state's 30 districts.Patnaik is likely to reiterate the states demand of eight battalions (about 8,000 personnel) of central forces, said a senior police official engaged in anti-Maoist operations.Terming "successful" the operation of the state police against the rebels in the past six months, he said: "For a more intensive drive, we need additional forces."Patnaik is also likely to demand more central help for the overall development of the backward areas where the Maoists are active, the official said, demanding anonymity.

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