In its bid to to counter the growing footfalls of Left Wing Extremists (LWE) in western parts of the State, the Odisha Government has decided to reinforce police infrastructure in the region. As a first measure, it has sanctioned upgradation of eight outposts to police stations and augmentation of 15 police stations across four Western districts.
Bargarh, Balangir, Nuapada and Kalahandi are the districts where the augmentation and strengthening of police infrastructure would be carried out.
As per the sanction, Lathor and Larambha in Balangir district, Dharambandha, Lakhna and Beltukuri in Nuapada district, Jagdalpur in Bargarh and Bijepur and Ambapani in Kalahandi are slated for upgradation from outposts to police stations.
Similarly, at least 15 police stations will be augmented. All six police stations of Nuapada, Thuamul Rampur under Kalahandi, Khaprakhol and Tureikela of Balangir and Ambabhana, Padampur, Paikmal, Jharbandh as well as Buden police stations of Bargarh will be covered under the augmentation plan.
The State Government has sanctioned as many as 313 posts for upgradation and augmentation, including posts of 17 Inspectors.
Interestingly, such a systematic augmentation plan for Western Odisha districts has come almost after a decade or more. Way back in 2005-06, the State Government had sanctioned a major augmentation of infrastructure for Koraput, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Gajapati and Kandhamal which formed the axis of Naxal base. “The fresh sanction is a welcome step as it will equip the district police to take on the Naxals. Upgradation and augmentation will mean SPs will have more resources at their disposal,” said Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) Abhay.
The move comes even as all these four districts witness a growing presence of Naxals in the region. Balangir and Bargarh, in particular, have reported increasing sway of the Maoists prompting the State Government to mobilise more Central para military forces to keep the trend under check in the region. The Sunabeda Sanctuary of Nuapada has been a haven for the Maoists because of its proximity to Chhattisgarh.
There are about two battalions of Central para military forces deployed in the western districts. Last week, the security forces had gunned down a Maoist in Tureikela police station of Balangir.
“We have been able to contain their activities through assistance of CPMF, but there are deeper and remote pockets where the presence of police needed strengthening.
This sanction should help us,” said an SP of a western district.