Ranchi, July 23: A security force specifically trained to provide protection to industry will be up and running in Jharkhand soon, home secretary J.B. Tubid has assured investors who have reacted with shock and anger at the recent assault of employees of an upcoming steel plant in Kharsawan.
Tubid, while seeking to defend the state government that has been under fire from industry majors and various chambers of commerce representing them, admitted the July 18 attack on the operations of an Abhijeet Group subsidiary in Kharsawan was worrisome.
In an interview to The Telegraph, he said, The State Industrial Security Force (SISF) will be ready soon to provide cover to any industry, bank or commercial establishment so desiring, but for a fee.
But sources in the police headquarters said the special government force would still require another few months to be fully operational. Another month would be needed to complete recruitment of 800 SISF men. Thereafter, they are to get special training in industrial security on the lines of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
Earlier, the state government had raised two battalions of a Special Auxiliary Force (SAF) comprising former army men but they arent used for industrial security alone.
The immediate reason behind the state administration seeking to push for the deployment of the new security force was the violence on the project site of Corporate Ispat and Alloy Limited at Kharsawan, chief minister Arjun Mundas constituency.
Apparently provoked by rumours of child sacrifice, a mob of around 400 ransacked the premises, about 60 km from Jamshedpur, and injured scores of employees. Two senior officials are being treated for serious head injuries at a Ranchi hospital.
On March 17, Jitendra Kumar Singh and Mukesh Yadav, both engineers with Calcutta-based Simplex Infrastructures associated with an Abhijeet Group plant at Chandwa in Latehar, were kidnapped by armed rebels. They were subsequently killed.
On March 25, an engineer of Adhunik Steel and Power Ltd and a railway officer were kidnapped at Kandra in Seraikela-Kharsawan district. The victims were released after five hours of torture.
The July 18 attack on the Abhijeet Group installation is worrying for the state establishment, Tubid admitted, adding the police had been directed to deal with the culprits sternly. So far 10 people have been arrested.
On the states overall security scenario, the state home secretary took pains to explain that there was no terror network in Jharkhand. Instances of Danish or Manzer Imam do not lead us to conclude that terrorists have developed a network in the state, he said, referring to the two SIMI activists with homes in the state capital.
Tubid also sought to clear the air on Thursdays transfer of 20 IPS officers, insisting the exercise was routine and not conducted at the behest of the Union home ministry that has, of late, been mildly critical of the states handling of anti-Maoist operations in rebel strongholds.
It was a routine exercise. The advisory on the SPs was an old one, he said on a Union home ministers letter on the performance of SPs posted in rebel strongholds of Lohardaga, Chatra, Garhwa, Simdega and Gumla districts.
It was a coincidence that the mass transfers were made the day when news of an old advisory was leaked in the media, he asserted.
Tubid, however, hastened to add that the state received regular advisories on various issues from the Union home ministry. We review the advisory and take a decision in view of the circumstances prevailing in the state, he explained.