Gearing up for a strong offensive against left wing extremism, Chhattisgarh police have claimed to have intensified the process of setting-up ‘fortified police stations’ in Bastar region in order to strengthen security apparatus in the Naxal-hit area.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had visited Naxal-infested Sukma district on May 31 to inaugurate the first fortified police station (FPS) of the state erected at Dornapal, 400 kms away from the state capital.
“Apart from Dornapal, construction of FPS have been completed in Konta of Sukma district and at Bhairamgarh in Bijapur district,” a senior police official told PTI.
The Centre had in 2011 announced to fortify 400 police stations in 83 worst Maoist-hit districts in the country at a cost of two crore INR each.
In Chhattisgarh, around 75 police stations were to be set-up in this line in which Bastar region accounts for the highest, around 50 police stations.
“The main objective of the FPS is to plug the chances of Naxals easily storming into the police stations or carrying out a direct gunfire attack from outside.”
“Setting up double-storey building, high boundary walls, sophisticated control room and even watch towers are the fortification measures prescribed under the scheme,” he said.
“The installation of remaining FPS is under progress in different districts of Bastar region. They are at different stages and will be completed soon,” the official said without eliciting locations for security reasons.
However, he further added, “we are facing challenges in highly vulnerable areas of Sukma, Bijapur and Narayanpur as civil contractors refused to work there due to Maoist threat.”
The concerned superintendent of police has been asked to ensure full security at the construction site so that work continued unhindered, he added.
Bastar, spread in an area about 40,000 sq km, considered as stronghold of ultras, comprises seven districts of Dantewada, Bijapur, Bastar, Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Sukma and Kanker.
Firing at police stations in interior regions of Bastar are frequent during night hours but no major attack at these places were reported in the past couple of years. Last time a major attempt was made in 2012 when Naxals fired a rocket launcher at Golapalli police station in Sukma but missed the target. There was no damage or casualty in the incident, he said.
Last week, four security personnel were injured when Naxals attacked a police camp at Basing in Narayanpur district with crude bombs.
Meanwhile, a Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF) official posted in Bastar feels Chhattisgarh should take idea of FPS structure from Andhra Pradesh where this concept was introduced over a decade ago.
“The concept of FPS was introduced in 1999-2000 in the Naxal-affected districts of AP. The structure of buildings was based on different strategic models like cylindrical model, box model (improvised) and cubical model keeping in view the location where it was being set up,” a commandant- rank paramilitary official said.
Chhattisgarh should take idea of structure from these police stations of the neighbouring state, he added.