SOG firing range near Odisha capital closed after mishap

Reported by Santosh Jagdev

Bhubaneswar, Feb 4:

Commissionerate police today announced the closure of Firing Range III of the Special Operation Group (SOG) of the Odisha State Armed Police (OSAP) battalion near Daruthenga village on the outskirts of the city after villagers complained about the risk posed to them due to firing practice by the SOG so close to the village.

firing mishap

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Satyabrata Bhoi announced that firing range-III of the SOG battalion at Chandaka had been closed with immediate effect after about 20 residents of Daruthenga village met him this afternoon and complained about the danger posed to them in the light of yesterday’s incident.

At least 10 bullets pierced the walls of some houses in the village on Tuesday morning while SOG jawans were practicing firing from range-III, located around 1.5 kilometers away from the village. The bullets were had apparently bounced off their targets.

The DCP said he will visit the spot for an enquiry today and will discuss with the officer in charge of the battalion, IG operations Soumendra Priyadarshi. “We will also hand over a detailed report to the IG on the matter,” the DCP added.

“We will try to find out how the bullets missed the target and whether Standrad Operating Procedures (SOP) were followed during the firing pratice,” Bhoi said.

Meanwhile, the bullets shells which pierced the walls of the village have been seized by the police.

Sukanti Behera, a housewife, had a providential escape as a bullet barely missed her and got lodged on the wall of her house.

At around 10.30 am yesterday, the villagers heard the sound of bullets. When they came out of their houses, they were shocked to see the walls of some houses, including the UP school in the village, with two-inch deep holes on them. They also found bullet shells.

It is to be noted that there are three firing ranges-I, II and III present inside the SOG batallion.

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