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On I-Day, women’s policy on CM lips

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 16: Chief minister Naveen Panaik has announced a policy for women and girls on the occasion of Independence Day.

“The government is going to implement a policy for girls and women — which will be a milestone in ensuring speedy empowerment of women,” said Naveen in his address at the state-level Independence Day function on Mahatma Gandhi Marg here yesterday.

Stressing that his government was committed to ensure rights, security and livelihood for women, Naveen said the proposed policy would focus on these aspects. “Lakhs of women have been successful in bringing a silent revolution through the Mission Shakti programme launched for women empowerment,” he said.

The government is also implementing a similar policy for the empowerment of youths, said the chief minister. “Odisha has been a leading state in the country when it comes to industrial investments. Industrialisation has thrown up new employment opportunities, speeded up economic development programmes and strengthened the economy of the state,” he said.

As many as 44 contingents, including that of the Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Police Force, Railway Protection Force, Odisha State Armed force, Special Striking Force, police and the NCC units of various schools and colleges took part in the parade, led by deputy commissioner of police Amrita Dash.

Tight security arrangements had been made at the parade venue in view of a Maoist threat. Sniffer dogs and bomb disposal squads were pressed into service to thwart any possible attack. The police also kept their eyes pealed to ensure no distressed people tried to set themselves on fire.

Security had been beefed up in the Maoist-hit Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Gajapati and Nuapada districts, where the rebels had given a call for boycotting the Independence Day celebrations.

Though no incident of Maoist violence was reported from anywhere in the state, black flags were found in some pockets of Arbanpali, Shilakota, Padia and Materu in Malkangiri district, the police said. In Mayurbhanj district, Maoist posters calling for boycott of celebrations were seized from Dighi and Pakatia in Jhadpokhria.

A few ministers, who were supposed to attend the Independence Day function in the Maoist-hit districts, were airlifted in view of the threat.

Various political parties also celebrated the Independence Day at their state offices here and at the district level. Unfurling the Tricolour at Congress Bhavan here, Pradesh Congress Committee president Jaydev Jena called for a corruption-free India and criticised both the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and Naveen Patnaik government in the state.