Cops armed with fortified police stations in Red zones

RANCHI: Many of the arms Maoists use in the war against the state were looted from police stations they attacked before 2010, when rebel activities were at their peak in the state. In Hazaribag, East Singhbum, West Singhbhum, Latehar and several other districts, police stations were attacked by Maoists to loot arms because of lack of infrastructure the policemen were left with no choice but to run for safety.

In the last five years, the situation has completely changed. Now, the forces deployed in Maoist-dominated areas live with less fear because the old vulnerable police stations have been converted into fortified ones. The Jharkhand Police Housing Corporation Limited, entrusted to work on 70 police stations, has achieved the target.

“All police stations considered most vulnerable have been fortified in the first phase of the plan of the home ministry,” said KS Meena, ADGP-cum-managing director, Jharkhand Police Housing Corporation Limited (JPHC).

The fortified police stations have come with unique operational advantages. It has a secure shelter to forces engaged in anti-Maoist operations, area domination exercises and long range patrolling in Maoist dens. They can return to the police station and take rest before another operation. It has also reduced a significant amount of response time in case the team of police need reinforcement from the police stations.

Most of these police stations have been handed over to the police. According to a JPHC official, among 500-odd police stations of the state, about 270 are located in Maoist-affected areas. “With the completion of the 70 police stations, now there are a total of 270 fortified police stations in the state,” said chief engineer of JPHC Suman Kumar.

Around a decade ago, the home ministry was alarmed when Maoist attacks on police stations in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal were frequent. Several police personnel lost their lives.

In the last few years, there has not been a single attack on any police station by Maoists.

“It is very difficult for even the strongest Maoist-armed dasta to attack a fortified police station. The police stations have multiple strategic protected watchtowers in all directions. The arms are kept in the safest place protected by multiple layers of security. All police stations have about 50-60 armed policemen who are always on alert,” SP of a Maoist-hit district said.

Source :

C. Kistler

Also editor of Nouvelle Turquie.