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Special Tactical Unit of Odisha Police

Amid growing concern of terrorism in wake of Bodh Gaya incident, the Odisha Police on Monday launched a dedicated law enforcement unit to confront heavily-armed criminals and terrorists in urban areas.

Christened as Special Tactical Unit (STU), a dedicated force to fight urban terrorism, which Odisha Police’s anti-extremist wing Special Operation Group (SOG) unveiled on Monday. The 30-member specialised unit is trained in commando operation to tackle urban terrorism scenarios.

Chief Secretary Jugal Kishore Mohapatra formally unveiled STU following a special demonstration at the 7th Battalion premises here. Director-General of Police Prakash Mishra was also present.

“Just like SWAT (special weapons and tactics) squads, the Special Tactical Unit has been raised to deal with urban terrorism and high-risk operations. Soon we will raise another unit of 30 commandos,” said DGP Prakash Mishra. “The unit will definitely give Odisha Police the cutting-edge,” Mishra said. “Though there is no threat from terrorists, we need to be prepared to meet any exigency. We might send the team to Puri for Rath Yatra,” said Mishra.

Odisha is the third State after Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra to have a dedicated force to combat urban terrorism. Andhra Pradesh had created Octopus while Maharashtra formed Force One after 26/11. “SOG as a special anti-Naxal force is trained in jungle and guerilla warfare, but the State needed capability in tackling urban terrorism such as hostage situations, taking out extremists holed up in buildings and shrines or engaged in sabotage of vital installations. This is where STU will fill the gap,” IG (Operation) Arun Kumar Sarangi said.
Special Tactical Unit (STU) of Odisha Police
STU was launched with a bang as the commandos demonstrated mock-drills, involving their confrontation and heavy exchange of fire with terrorists at the Seventh Battalion of Odisha State Armed Police in Chandrasekharpur. The ‘mock’ gunshot exercise continued for nearly 30 minutes, drawing crowds from the nearby locality.

Police said the STU can be handy in handling hostage situations and also quelling violent demonstrations held during assembly sessions and on other days here. There were instances when the existing law enforcing personnel faced problems in controlling a mob, leading to bloody clashes in the past. Retired DGP S N Tiwari suggested that such units should be permanently posted at Puri and Chandipur, having vital installations like Jagannath temple and missile test range, respectively.

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    from- sajid

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