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Orissa to strengthen its anti-Maoist force

Bhubaneswar: Encouraged by the success of its own securitymen in eliminating nine ultras and recovering huge weapons in Rayagada district recently, state government on Saturday decided to strengthen its anti-Naxalite force, official sources said.
The state police personnel were as efficient as CRPF and BSF men in fighting the Maoists in forests. This was proved during a recent encounter in Rayagada district where Special Operation Group (SOG) and District Voluntary Force (DVF) personnel gunned down nine ultras and busted a camp of the Maoists active in the southern districts neighbouring Chhatishgarh and Andhra Pradesh.
The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
“There will be an increase in the strength of the SOG personnel. I have had a routine review of the law and order situation and also of the naxal problem in our state,” CM Naveen Patnaik said.
As per reports, currently around 1700 SOGs are placed in 50 units to combat the red terror in the Maoist hit districts of the state. Another 50 units of SOG personnel would be engaged in these districts. Similarly, the DVF units those are operative only in 11 districts, will be introduced in the rest of the Maoist affected districts.
“The strength of the SOGs units are going to increase. We are also planning to increase the strength of the DVF units. It will take two to three months of time to train these personnel,” Chief Secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik said.
 In addition to it, the government has also emphasized on expediting the development process in the naxal affected areas.
Meanwhile, Former DG of Police Manmohan Praharaj has stressed on filling up the vacant positions at Inspector, Sub-Inspector and Asst. Sub-Inspector level. The officials recruited against these ranks will be responsible for managing the SOG and DVF personnel.
“The vacant positions at Inspector, SI and ASI level should be filled in order to manage the SOG and DVF jawans,” Former DIG Praharaj added.
With about 18 of the state`s 30 districts affected by Maoists, there were 12 battalions of central para-military force to assist the state police to fight the ultras. While BSF has five battalions, CRPF has seven.
The decision to further strengthen SOG and DVF came in the wake of the centre`s suggestion to create own striking force against red rebels, the former DGP added.

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