PARADIP: For the police, it’s time again for some action _ albeit of the mock kind. The State Police, Coast Guard and the coastal security group are part of the coastal security exercise, Operation Hamla.
Operation Hamla, the 48-hour security drill on land and sea, that started on Monday, will be a virtual game, where the forces would protect designated areas from being breached by undercover commandos who would act as terrorists. While the police personnel have been briefed about the mock operation, they are not told when and where the intruders would land.
For this, three Naval warships, three ships of Coast Guard, two vessels of Paradip Marine Police and two high-speed power boats were engaged for the security drill. Five platoons of force along with 60 officers, including 48 sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors, five inspectors and two DSPs, were deployed along the coast under the direct supervision of the Jagatsinghpur SP to keep a watch on the sea during the drill.
This is the fifth such exercise along the Odisha coast, which had earlier witnessed similar mock war drills in July 2009 and February 2010 and 2011. The two earlier operations were christened ‘Operation Gauntlet’ and ‘Operation Rakshak’. A joint coastal security was conducted on Monday for Odisha and West Bengal.
The same has also been coordinated by Indian Coast Guard.
This exercise is to facilitate understanding of the coordinating capabilities of the stakeholders or participating agencies and synergy amongst each other. During the course of the exercise various situations will be simulated to validate the coastal security mechanism.
DIG, Coast Guard, Paradip, KPR Raghu Vanshee said the mock exercise is to provide impetus to curb the sensitive issues of armed piracy and robbery at sea wherein, the safety and security of fishermen is at stake.
Police and Coast Guard personnel pressed were into service and verified the identification of local fishermen. They also searched boats, vessels and other hideouts to trace the entry of terrorists in Paradip coast.
The exercise proves vital considering the fact that security installations, including two missile test ranges, are situated off Balasore and Kendrapara districts besides the 12th Century Jagannath temple at Puri.