Grassroot level police personnel work round-the-clock to help victims

Although they’ll remain unsung heroes, the grassroot level police personnel of Berhampur and Ganjam police districts in Phailin cyclone- hit areas of Odisha have worked beyond their physical and mental capacity forgetting the tremendous pressure of problems related to their own and family.

None of the police personnel including the ones in barracks at Chatrapur, headquarters of Ganjam district, have a roof on their heads except the Superintendent of Police (SP). They could get polythene sheets a day back. The residential quarters at Bhapur police line have been completely devastated. The police reserve in Berhampur is yet to have power supply and has received damages. Yet it has not deterred them from continuing with the round-the-clock duty to safeguard and streamline relief, rescue and restoration efforts after the Phailin holocaust.

The time when Phailin stuck the area, most of the police personnel displayed examples of self sacrifice. The living quarters of inspector in charge of Baidyanathpur police station Dipak Mishra got totally damaged by the cyclonic storm.

While the storm was on he just shifted his family members to a safe place nearby and rushed off along with his staff to evacuate people from dangerous areas.

The inspector in charge of Gopalpur police station, Ajay Mishra along with his one sub-inspector, two assistant sub inspectors and a few constables remained in place guarding the beach while the cyclone stuck to check any casualty at the beach. The Golanthara police station had become totally inaccessible, yet its staff braved it out to reach out to people in the area at the time of this natural holocaust.

The Gosaninuagaon police station in Berhampur got submerged under five feet water, yet its staff remained on duty forgetting what their family members were doing at home during the cyclone hit.

Speaking to The Hindu , the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police, southern range, Amitabh Thakur said most of the police staff forgot their own physical problems and since the evacuation process for the cyclone started have worked relentlessly without proper rest. When cyclone hit the area, the Ganjam SP Ashis Kumar Singh was admitted in hospital for lung infection. He came out with the intravenous needle fixed to his palm to lead the rescue operations in his area. The Berhampur SP Anirudh Singh also had his knee injured. But it did not deter him to walk down to Gopalpur on sea to lead a police troupe along with Mr Thakur crossing over fallen trees at early morning of October 13 after the cyclonic storm.

Mr Singh said all praises should be laid on the grassroot level staff, including the homeguards, who have shown exemplary courage, endurance and patience to serve at the time of need. “Most of these staff had incurred damages at their homes yet they preferred to reach out to people who have incurred greater losses,” he added.

After October 13, their prime job was rescue operation. Now also the police force in Ganjam and Berhampur police districts has to work round-the-clock. “They are involved in ensuring smooth flow of relief materials and protection of vehicles carrying them apart from assistance to fire brigade, ODRAF personnel in restoration work,” Mr Thakur said. For this, 16 platoons of police force is on duty in Ganjam police district along with 150 home guards and Special Police Officers (SPO).

In Berhampur police district nine platoons of force are on duty along with 100 homeguards and 50 SPOs. Force has been deployed in every panchayat. Patrolling troupes have been added to every police station. Four patrolling troupes are active in Gopalpur police station area.

  • None of the police personnel, except the SP, have a roof on their heads at Chatrapur

  • Cops go all out to help victims even though their family members are facing problems