Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Maoist menace looms large over industrial dist

Tuesday February 26 2008 15:22 IST

ANGUL: The industrial district of Angul, which borders Maoist-infested districts of Sambalpur and Dhenkanal, is no less vulnerable than Nayagarh to Maoist attacks.

In December last, people residing under Prunagarh police limits in Satkosia forest region, close to Nayagarh district reported several times about the movement of a group of uniformed strangers in the jungle talking in ‘different’ languages. Armed police contingents were pressed for combing operations on the basis of the reports but the presence of ultras could not be detected. However, the local people are sceptical since the police forces hardly check the exact locations where the Left Wing extremists reportedly hide.

Now, the nagging question is if the Naxals had targeted Angul instead of Nayagarh, whether the present security staff could have been able to challenge the attack? The fear factor has intensified more so because of the fact that the Angul police has not launched any search operations in Satkosia jungle after the Nayagarh mayhem though it borders Nayagarh.

Meanwhile, the police authorities are worried about the reserve office, housed in a rented building in Nalco Township. For the last several years, police authorities have been asking successive state and district revenue authorities for at least eight acres of land in the town areas to set up their own reserve office and armoury.

But no step has been taken in this direction. Concerned over non-availability of land for the reserve office, Additional Director- General of Police P.C. Mishra reached here two days back to take stock of the situation. Several alternative proposals to shift the office from Nalco have been mooted, said SP Pratik Mohanty.

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