The Border Security Force (BSF) deployed in Odisha and Chhattisgarh is playing an important role in the security as well as development in the area of its deployment, said R.S. Bhatti, ADG, Border Security Force (Special Operations) today, at Command Headquarters (Special Operations) at Nava Raipur.
ADG, R.S. Bhatti announced that on Republic Day this year, a Boat Ambulance Services is being started by BSF in Swabhiman Anchal of Malkangiri district of Odisha. More than thirty thousand citizens of 151 villages of this zone will get its direct benefit. He added that in this area this mode of transport will be the quickest to ensure medical relief to the villagers.
Speaking on the security situation in the two states, Bhatti said that due to effective area dominance and confidence-building measures by the Border Security Force and other security forces, there has been a drastic reduction in recruitment of local people by Naxal operations. The recruitment of new Naxalites has become negligible in Odisha and there has been a huge decline in Chhattisgarh also he added.
Bhatti said that in the last more than a decade while fighting the Naxalites, the Border Security Force has sacrificed 38 brave officers and jawans and arrested 1650 Maoists, killed 18 Maoists, and forced 891 Maoists to surrender. Along with this, BSF has also seized 1473 weapons, 958 IDs, 3,176 kg of gunpowder. In the year 2021, 15 weapons, 54 IEDs were seized by the BSF and 14 Maoists have surrendered or arrested.
ADG Bhatti informed that during the year 2021, there were three armed encounters of Naxalites with BSF in Chhattisgarh, which were completely foiled. COB on March 26, 2021. The patrolling Party was ambushed by Naxalites in Sureli, Kanker, Chhattisgarh, which was thwarted by the Gasti Party giving a befitting reply and the Maoists fled. In the evening, 70 to 80 Maoists attacked Kamteda, Kanker with mortars and automatic weapons.
The attack was replied by the BSF jawans and the Maoists were forced to flee. The patrolling party of Anjarel, District Narayanpur was ambushed by the Maoists which was thwarted by the patrolling party firing retaliatory fire.
21 February 2021 in Odisha, Naxalites using IEDs and automatic weapons attacked the patrolling party of Kartanpally district Malkangiri. The attack was replied but a jawan was injured in this incident. He said that the Border Security Force has been continuously striving to win the hearts and minds of the citizens. During the year 2020-2021, a total of 24 medical camps were organized by BSF in Kanker and Narayanpur districts of Chhattisgarh for the medical treatment of citizens, in which the availability of specialist doctors of eyes, teeth, gynecology, bones etc. was also ensured. 6,438 people from about 240 villages got the benefit of these medical camps.
Medical camps were also organized in the inner villages of Kanker district like village of Koylibeda block, Alldand, Barkot, Maad Pakhnjur, Rengawahi, Irpanar, Tiralgarh, Village Mendra in Durgkundal block. Similarly, 22 medical camps were organized in Odisha, benefiting 4,362 people from about 230 villages in Malkangiri and Koraput districts. Medical camps were also organized in villages in remote inner blocks of Malkangiri and Koraput districts.
Bhatti informed that essential commodities worth Rs 1.44 crore are being provided to the people of about 280 interior villages of Kanker and Narayanpur districts of Chhattisgarh. Under civic assistances, citizens are being provided agricultural machinery, mosquito nets, essential utensils, cycles, tricycles for handicapped, books and stationery for school children etc. He said that similarly, essential commodities worth Rs 1.44 crore are being provided to citizens of about 130 villages in Malkangiri and Koraput districts in Odisha during the year 2021-22.
During the lockdown, BSF made arrangements for distribution of rice, pulses, sugar, salt, oil to help the common citizens. He said that a lot of assistance was given by the jawans on voluntary basis to the people time to time in the area of their deployment.
Referring to the tribal youth exchange program, he said that the Border Security Force has been arranging for about 250 tribal youth and girls every year to visit various historical and cultural places of the country for the last 10 years. So that they can understand the culture of other parts of the country. In this sequence, they have got the opportunity to visit places like Indore, Bangalore, Chennai, Amritsar, Lucknow, Pune, Delhi, Goa, Jaipur, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Surat, Vadodara etc. In the year 2021-2022, 252 tribal boys and girls of Chhattisgarh and Odisha have got the benefit of this program. He said that 60 boys and girls of Kanker district have been given training under the skill development program so that employment will be available to them.
In Odisha, BSF has provided security in construction or operation of 128 road projects and 44 bridges/culverts. The most important of these is the Gurupriya Bridge, which was completed in 2018. The bridge connects the cut off area of Malkangiri district, now known as Swabhiman Aanchal, to the main road. Also, security has been provided by BSF in the construction of Motu bridge in the year 2019. This bridge connects Odisha with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Mr Bhatti informed that BSF is also playing an important role in the construction of mobile phone towers. Telephone / mobile phone has a very important contribution in accelerating the development in the Naxal affected areas and connecting the people.
The Border Security Force has provided security support in the construction of 196 mobile phone towers in Chhattisgarh and Orissa, despite fierce opposition and threats from Naxalites. Out of these, 91 mobile phone towers are located in district Kanker and Narayanpur in Chhattisgarh and 105 mobile phone towers are located in Malkangiri and Koraput districts of Orissa. This work is being done more rapidly now.
In the year 2021-22, a total of 1,06,522 trees were planted by BSF in Chhattisgarh and 32,340 in Odisha, mainly Mango, Guava, Coconut, Neem, Amla trees are included. This initiative is not only for environment protection but also to help supplement the earnings of the villagers in these areas.