ROURKELA: The Sundargarh police administration has plans to restore police facilities close to the Saranda forest along the Odisha-Jharkhand border.
Following the killing of SI Ajit Bardhan and CRPF jawan Md Abdul Rafique in the Bonai sub-division in 2009, the Rourkela Police had decided to close down some police outposts.
Accordingly, the Jareikela outpost of the Bisra police station along with the Tensa outpost, Barsuan beat house, Kalta and Chandiposh outposts and Sol beat house in Bonai and Kalunga outpost under Brahmani Tarang were closed. Kalta was restored and Chandiposh was converted into a police station with closure of Banki police station. Recently, the Kalunga outpost was reopened.
Proposals have been sent to the State Government for upgrading some of the police stations in the Maoist-dominated areas into fortified police stations.
Closure of the police stations in far-flung areas over Maoist threats are bringing in untold miseries to the rural people.
Consider this: Villagers of Sol seeking police help need to travel over 45 km through inhospitable terrains to the Gurundia police station.
Rourkela SP Himanshu Lal insisted on converting the Barsuan and Tensa police facilities into fortified police stations with the objective of arresting open theft of minerals and keeping effective control over the Maoists. He said taking the Maoist presence into account the defunct Jareikela outpost needs to be upgraded into fortified police station.
Sources at the Rourkela District Police headquarters said proposals were likely to receive green signal in a month.
Recently, the Union Home Ministry had also insisted on deployment of CRPF inside the Saranda forest.
In this scenario, Odisha and Jharkhand Police manning the outskirts of Saranda would enjoy strategic advantage in restricting movement of the Red rebels.