To prevent a possible arms loot by the Maoists,the Orissa Government has asked forest and excise officials to keep their weapons at local police stations.
The latest directive from the Home Department has come in the wake of Maoists raiding the Badabaraba forest range office in Raikia area of Kandhamal district on the night of February 18.
Around 40 Maoists looted three single-barrel muzzle loaders,a pistol,a country-made gun and 50 live bullets. The Maoists also broke open an iron chest in the officeand looted Rs 1 lakh in cash before twarning the forest officials against lodging an FIR. Some of the forest staff fled from the scene after the incident,while others did not report the matter to the police.
Home Secretary Aditya Padhi said strict instructions have been issued to the forest staff and the excise staff to follow the new directive.
They have to deposit their arms in the nearest police stations in the next 15 days, the Home Secretary said.