Correspondent

He lost his leg in his bid to foil naxal raid on jail

  • Panida successfully thwarted attempts of naxals to storm jail
  • Warder Sanji Patro also waiting for rewards

    Koraput: The heroes of the historic dark day in Koraput , were proud that they did not succumb to the threat of life when Naxalites had attacked the entire police establishment at the district headquarters on February 6, 2004.

    The naxalites had seized the entire town and had left the place with huge amount of arms and ammunition.

    They had attacked the district jail too. The then Superintendent of Koraput District Jail B.B. Pandia had to lose his right leg to the bullet of the naxalites for obstructing their movement towards the district jail.

    The Jail Warder, Sanji Patro, was asked by naxalites to hand over the keys of the main gate of the jail. But he did not succumb to their pressure despite of receiving a bullet in his body. Rather he switched on the siren of the jail when they were trying to dig the wall and the naxalites had fled from the spot.

    The district jail was saved and the bid to free the friends of the naxalites was foiled. The leg of Mr.Pandia had to be amputated at Visakhapatnam and the medical expense was reimbursed by the District Red Cross unit of Koraput. Even though he has retired from his job after losing a leg and now settled in Bolangir he was grateful to the then district collector of Koraput, Usha Padhee for the immediate help she had extended in the time of need.

    Speaking to The Hindu over telephone on Tuesday , he, however, regretted over the delay in the release of his disability pension and disability compensation by the state government even after three years of the incidence . His repeated reminders and prayers were unheard by the government, he said. Similar was the case with the jail warder Surjit. He was given a reward of Rs. 250 from the State Government for his brave attempt to save the jail from naxalites.

    However he was assured for more reward by the Chief Minister himself while he had visited the district jail . But the said is not done even after three years, he said.

    Tributes to martyr

    Meanwhile, a statue of Narasingh Nayak was inaugurated in Old Koraput by former ASP Ashananda Bagh. Narasingh had fallen to naxalites bullets while protecting the District Armoury, this day in 2004. The armoury was captured by the naxalites and Narasingh Nayak had found himself alone in the armoury at the district headquarters police office. However, he did not allow the naxalites to cross the door and was hence shot dead by the naxalites and the armoury was robbed. S.K. Sahu , the DSP , B.B.Panda , the RI of Police and many police personnel along with people from the community joined Kamala, the widow, in paying tributes by garlanding the statue.