The Odisha government on Friday raised 'Odisha Swift Action Force' (OSAF), a special wing of police, to deal with serious law and order situation in the state.
Three companies have been formed in the first phase, ready to be deployed at Lord Jagannth's Ratha Jatra on June 25.
“We often depend on Union government for deployment of Rapid Action Force for maintenance of serious law and order situation. This new OSAF will meet the challenge at the time of need,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.
Patnaik said that OSAF would serve the purpose of its formation by intervening in crisis situation in the quickest possible time.
In the initial phase, the OSAF now comprises more than 300 selected police personnel from various sections of the Odisha police. They had been trained in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh under the Rapid Action Force (RAF).
Home department sources said the basic objective of the OSAF would be to control crowd during major festivals and combat crisis situations arising from riots and terror strikes. They were provided with special combat weapons and separate uniform.
The state so far has two other specialised wings of Odisha police. They are the Special Operation Group (SOG) and the Special Tactical Unit (STU).