Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday said the law and order situation in his state was peaceful barring a few stray incidents.

“There has been progressive improvement in the overall left wing extremism (LWE) in the state in terms of decline in the intensity of Maoist activity and violence,” the chief minister told the assembly, while replying to an adjournment motion on law and order moved by the opposition.

He said Maoist activities were taking place in the three districts of Malkangiri, Koraput and Nuapada, even though the situation was stable and under control in 11 districts.

Patnaik, who also holds the home portfolio, said the government has identified 253 locations to install mobile towers to improve mobile connectivity in Maoist-infested areas.

The chief minister also said construction work has started for the much awaited Gurupriya Bridge that would connect over 100 villages.

Till June this year, he said, “50,595 cognizable cases have been reported. A number of steps have been taken to expedite the investigation of cases”.

The crime branch has identified “121 sensational cases of crime against women”, which were being regularly monitored by police superintendents of the concerned districts for expeditious trials ending in conviction, he said.

Patnaik also took potshots at the central government for slashing funds under the police modernisation scheme.

He said the state government was committed to ensure funding from the state budget in order to keep police fully prepared to meet the challenge of maintaining law and order.

However, the opposition members refused to buy this, saying crime figures have touched new highs in the state due to the deteriorating law and order situation.

Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra said Patnaik was “ignorant of the ground reality”, and spoke about several incidents of alleged police atrocities in Kendrapara, Belabahali and Phulbani.

Source: IANS