Six months ago,West Midnapore SP had selected a site that was a kilometre away from the present location at Silda for an EFR camp and submitted a proposal for building barracks at a cost of Rs 15 lakh. The project was scrapped.
Today,two days after the Maoists killed 24 EFR personnel,the government decided to wind up five other camps in the area and is in a desperate hurry to relocate Silda camp to a new site.
Senior police officers were,however,tightlipped about the new site,with both Kuldip Singh,IG (Western Range) and West Midnapore SP Manoj Verma refusing to comment.
It was Verma who in September last had submitted a proposal to the state government to relocate the Silda camp to a safe and suitable site. The project report said the police already had an empty plot located a kilometre away from Silda market,where the EFR camp currently existed. A minimum of one acre was required while the rest could be bought.
The project envisioned a two-storied barrack for the EFR jawans,complete with watch towers and other mandatory security measures. The project also had provisions for residential amenities for the jawans like bathroom.
The project submitted to the higher-ups but was turned down for lack of funds. said a senior police officer.
Two days after the devastating Maoist attack on Silda camp,the project site along with some other spots are being considered as the new location for the EFR camp in the area.
Personnel from the five camps that are to be wound up,meanwhile, have returned to the headquarters in Midnapore town. Of these,two camps were located in Lodhasuli and Jitusol,one in Purulia and two camps in Bankura.
ADG (CID) Raj Kanojia,who will be probing the attack,reached Silda camp with his team around 11.45 am today and spent over an hour on the spot. We are trying to identify who are the people behind it. We have collected some samples from the site, Kanojia said.
Regarding the two Bengal police sub-inspectors who were said to have left the camp just before the attack,Kanojia said,We will look into everything.