Maoist threat under control to a large extent: West Bengal CM

Kolkata, Dec 1 (ANI): West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has said the Maoist problem in his state is largely under control.

Addressing a police investiture ceremony here, Bhattacharjee said: "Although the Maoist grip over the jungle areas of the state has been brought under control, continuous operation are needed to uphold the rule of law."

Acknowledging the high risk faced by police personnel posted in the Maoist-affected districts of West Bengal, Bhattacharjee said: "Compensation to police officers and employment to one of the kin of dead police officers will be speeded up."

We are already paying Rs. 15 lakh to the family members of each policeman killed in Maoist combat. I know that our decision to provide employment to a member of each bereaved families came late, but we are now speeding up the implementation process," he added

He further said that efforts are on to speed up the construction of housing for police personnel and provide them with better healthcare facilities.

"We will ensure that injured or ill policemen are provided with the best possible healthcare facilities at both government-run and private hospitals on a priority basis," he added.

Later addressing a public meeting, Bhattacharjee ruled out the formation of an "interim committee" in the Darjeeling Hills before the holding of local body elections.

He appealed to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to hold elections to the panchayats and the municipalities in the hills first.

"We have already made it clear to Delhi that we are not going to accept any interim committee in Darjeeling. They (Morcha) should first agree to the elections to the panchayats and municipalities," he said.

"We will never let them (Morcha) occupy the seat of power in Darjeeling without an election. They must face the verdict of the people," he said, adding that he would not allow Darjeeling district to be divided. (ANI)

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