Odisha News Insight

NHRC seeks Report on Coastal Security in Odisha

imageThe National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) recently asked the Defence Secretary and the Director General of Police of Odisha to reply within eight weeks on a petition filed by Rights Activist, Radhakanta Tripathy, over seeking Safety and Security of Coastal areas of India especially of Odisha Coast.

In the petition it has been mentioned that dealing with non-state actors has been a difficult situation while guarding the Indian coast. Earlier the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) cut a pitiful figure of Indian coastal security in its report, noting the lack of facilities and the decaying state of existing resources.

The petitioner stated that as per CAG report, in an era of heightened coastal security concerns, Indian Coast Guard (ICG) remains ill-equipped to discharge its enhanced role and meet the challenges of today aftermath 26/11, the response of ICG and government has been ‘ad hoc’ as can be witnessed by increased patrolling, increased funding, fast tracking procurements.

In recent past, a boat allegedly carrying explosives for a possible terror attack near the coast of Gujarat raised security concerned for the coastal areas of India. Coastal security is a big challenge and we have a huge coastline of 7,516 km and extensive economic zone of over two million sq km. Threat perception in the Indian Ocean region is wide and varied. There is threat of asymmetric warfare and other maritime threats that could emanate from the region for the country. Failure of the Indian Coast Guard and the ministry of Defence pose serious threat to human rights, Tripathy alleged.

The case of Odisha from Balasore to Berhampur has been alarming. The situation is worst especially at Dhamra Marine Police Station. The area is highly sensitive for the existence of Wheeler Island, the major missile testing center of India.The Marine Police station at Dhamra to guard marine security has been established in March, 2009. As per norms and parameters there should be 73 staffs (One Inspector,Six Sub-Inspectors,Six A.S.I., Twelve Habildars and fourty eight Constables). However at present the strength of staff is only eight. The Boats meant for guarding are not used in accordance with the parameters due to varieties of reasons. The importance of the place is so high due to the existence of the port and Missile Test Center, contended the Rights activist.

As a result, the Rights Activist, Tripathy, had requested the NHRC to act over the issue immediately and investigate the issue and direct the Director General of Indian Coast Guard and the Secretary of Ministry of Defence and Director General of Police, Odisha by constituting a team of experts to analyze the situation thoroughly and recommend steps to be taken as remedial measures to protect the Coastal areas.

Acting on the petition , the NHRC on the first week of February directed the Defence Secretary and the DGP of Odisha to take appropriate action within 8 weeks and to submit their reports.

Leave a comment