The naxalite attack on the Rajpur and Baghela police outposts in Rohtas district was not unexpected. It also did not have anything to do with just intelligence failure.
The policemen in the two posts operated from makeshift accommodation in thatched houses. Besides, they were so few and so badkly armed that they almost invited the attack on themselves.
And that is the story for over 100 police stations in sensitive areas along the Indo-Nepal borders as well as Central Bihar. At all these places, the police operate from thatched houses to make them ‘soft targets’ for their quarry. For instance, Harpur police station on the Indo-Nepal border in East Chmaparan functions from a hut. Only a sub-inspector and three constables are posted there.
The Makardai, Palanma and Mahuawa police stations are no better.
In Sitamarhi district, Bargainia, Majorganj, Bela, Kanhauli and Bhitha, several police stations run from dilapidated buildings. Officials said most police stations do not even have boundary walls.
“Over 80 police stations from West Champaran to Kishanganj in Bihar, operate from thatched buildings,” an officer said.
After Saturday’s naxalite attack, the government has decided to do away with police stations and outposts in these thatched houses and replace them with pucca buildings. Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah said instructions were being issued to all Superintendents of police to take up the matter on priority. Bihar Police Association (BPA) general secretary K K Jha said 264 police stations, 92 police pickets and many police outposts are in extremist-infested districts. “These police stations do not have basic infrastructure,” he said.