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Western Range to have more forces, says Odisha DGP

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Reported by Malay Ray
Rourkela, Jun 20:

Notwithstanding significant fall in Naxal activities in Sundargarh district, Odisha police is contemplating deployment of additional forces in certain areas within the western range from where personnel had been withdrawn in view of the changed security perception.

File Pic
File Pic

During his one-day visit to the district, Odisha Director General police (DGP) Sanjeev Marik said: “Naxal activities have come down significantly in Sundargarh district in the last couple of years and are now limited to a few pockets, mainly on the Odisha–Jharkhand border. Therefore, after review of the situation, we are considering redeployment of forces as per their present positioning.”

As Naxal activities are mainly being controlled from across Jharkhand, Odisha police are planning to hold joint meeting with senior police officials of the neighbouring state this month, he said.

The activities of Jharkhand-based extortion outfits like Peoples Liberation Front of India (PLFI) and Pahadi Chita have also posed serious challenge to Odisha police in the last few years. The activities of these two organizations have also come down significantly in recent past, he claimed.

“After a couple of encounters and arrest of their senior leaders, the activities of these two criminal outfits have come down considerably in the district,” Marik added.

Replying to a query on police manpower availability, Marik agreed that staff shortage had been a huge challenge for the state police force.

“There has been a vacancy of over fifty percent of our total requirement for the Sub inspector (SI) posts in the state and we are trying to fill up these vacancies. The staff selection commission had already notified for appointment against these vacancies but that has been stayed due to a court intervention. We have already recruited about 2000 persons in Special Operation Group (SOG), besides regularly providing training to our existing staff for upgrading their skills,” Marik added.

Keeping in view the increase in cyber crimes in the state, the top cop said that the state police are planning to open special police stations for dealing with cyber crimes, at least one in each district, to deal with these issues.