Friday, November 02, 2007

Orissa :Naxal terror tops cop agenda

- New DG Nanda to focus on recruitment drive

Orissa’s new director-general of police Gopal Nanda takes charge at the police headquarters in Cuttack on Thursday. Picture by Sanjib Mukherjee

Nov. 1: Senior IPS officer Gopal Chandra Nanda who assumed charge as the state’s director-general of police (DGP) on Wednesday conceded that countering the Naxalite menace and maintenance of law and order were the twin challenges before him.

Nanda, who met chief minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar after assuming charge at the state police headquarters in Cuttack, told newspersons that he would be concentrating on the two problems , while keeping an eye on the police-public relation.

However, before he starts work on either of the two problems, his priority would be to fill up vacancies in the police department, especially higher-up.

“How can we counter ultras, control crime and maintain law and order without adequate personnel?” the DGP asked. Around 7,000 to 8,000 posts of constables, assistant sub-inspectors and sub-inspectors are lying vacant, official sources said.

While speaking from Cuttack, where he assumed charge yesterday at the state police headquarters, Nanda admitted that personnel were often de-motivated by the lack of development.

He felt that this problem would be sorted soon after recruitment at the lowest rung was over.

In order to increase efficiency, he would concentrate on procuring sophisticated gadgets, stress on computerisation and updated training, he added.

Physical fitness, too, would be on the agenda.

Nanda, a 1974 batch IPS officer of the Orissa cadre, succeeded Amarananda Pattanayak at a time when the later was on leave.

Pattanayak, who was scheduled to attend the Interpol meet in Morocco in the first week of November, went on a month-long leave on “personal grounds” on October 30.

Nanda was confident of providing adequate security and protection to firms in sensitive areas such as Jagatsinghpur, if help was sought.

Shortly after assuming office at the state police headquarters in Cuttack, Nanda praised the Orissa force and told newspersons that “pro-active measures” adopted by the police had brought down extremist violence in the state.

“In fact, the situation here is much better than other Naxalite-hit states,” he added.

He added border patrols to prevent rebel mobilisation from Naxalite-hit areas, proves to be effective in the long run.

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