Special Operation Group
|Special Operation Group|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||State of Odisha, India|
|Specialist jurisdiction||Paramilitary law enforcement, counter insurgency, armed response to civil unrest, counter terrorism, special weapons operations.|
|Headquarters||Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India|
|Parent agency||Odisha Police|
|* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.
Note: Data for organisation as at July 2013.
The SOG was formed in August 2004 on the order of the Government of Odisha (Home department) with the objective of neutralising any terrorist, insurgent, extremist or illegal armed groups operating in Odisha.
Organisation and role
It does not recruit personnel directly, instead the personnel are drawn from various state police units and the assignments are based on tenures with a maximum period of 3 years. It also allows hiring of operatives from the armed forces, central paramilitary forces and police units of other states. They receive training at a special school in Chandaka and also from the army base in Jabalpur.
The main role of the SOG is counter-insurgency operations. But, handling hostage situations and hijackings also come under its responsibility. It works closely with the Special Intelligence Wing of the Odisha Police.
On 15 February 2008, a SOG assistant commandant Pramod Kumar Satapathy was martyred while leading an operation against Maoists near Bhubaneswar. On 21 February 2008, the Government of Orissa announced a compensation of ₹5 hundred thousand to the family of slain Pramod Kumar Satapathy. Pramod Kumar Satapathy was awarded the Ashoka Chakra posthumously on Republic Day, 26 January 2009.
On 18 February 2008, 20 Maoists were killed during a combing operation in the border area of Nayagarh, Ganjam and Kandhamal district. 3 SOG personnel were also martyred in the battle. On 16 July 2008, a van carrying SOG personnel was ambushed in Malkangiri district and 17 personnel were martyred in a landmine explosion.
On 16 February 2009, a dozen SOG personnel were injured when a landmine exploded under their vehicle in Gajapati district. On 12 April 2009, about 200 Maoists attacked a CISF armoury and an explosive storehouse at a NALCO mine in Koraput. There were 100 NALCO workers at the site and they were locked up in the cafeteria but they were unharmed and were later freed by SOG personnel. The armoury and explosive storehouse were looted. 11 CISF men and 4 Maoists were killed in the attack.
On 24 December 2009, during an encounter in a forest in Koraput district, a SOG personnel, Gangadhar Dalai, was killed in a claymore explosion and three other personnel were injured. A female Maoist operative was also killed in the same encounter.
On 24 March 2010, 3 SOG personnel were killed and 6 were injured when Maoists open at them during a combing operation in the Gajapati district. In late March 2010, the SOG along with the BSF and CRPF began combing the jungles in the Koraput-Malkangiri-Dantewada region as a part of the Operation Green Hunt.
On 4 April 2010, 9 SOG men were killed and 8 injured seriously, when the bus they were travelling in, encountered a remote-triggered landmine planted by Maoists. Later, a probe by the Odisha Police concluded that the SOG personnel were at fault for not clearing the road before driving. On 18 December 2010, in an encounter between Maoists and the SOG in the Sundergarh district, two Maoists were killed, a SOG personnel was injured and another SOG personnel, Laxman Kissan, was also killed. The Maoists handed over his body to his family in neighbouring Jharkhand on 19 December.
A joint team of CRPF, local police and SOG killed 3 Maoists during a combing operation in Rayagada district on 12 July 2013. On 14 September 2013, SOG personnel killed 13 Maoist operatives including a female operative in Malkangiri district.
- Special Tactical Unit, a related unit for urban counter terrorism operations in Odisha
- Counter Insurgency Force, a similar unit of West Bengal
- Greyhounds (Police), a similar unit of Andhra Pradesh
- Naxalite–Maoist insurgency
- Operation Green Hunt
- "Formation of Special Operation Group (SOG) in the State to deal with extremist and terrorist activities - creation of posts thereof" (PDF). Government of Odisha. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Orissa SOG without full-time head in fight against Naxals". Indian Express. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- "Small force that provides the cutting edge". The Indian Express. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- "More churches burnt in Orissa". The Times of India. 28 December 2008. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- "Orissa SOG Assistant Commandant PR Satapathy". Rediff. 26 January 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- "Orissa govt announces compassionate grant for policemen". Outlook India. 21 February 2008. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "11 chosen for Ashoka Chakra, 13 for Kirti Chakra". The Hindu. 26 January 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- "Orissa cops on Maoists' trail, kill 20". The Economic Times. 18 February 2008. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- "Naxals ambush cops in Orissa again, kill many". IBNLive. 16 July 2008. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- "Dozen SOG personnel injured in landmine blast". DNA India. 16 February 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- "Orissa Naxal attack: 11 CISF jawans, 4 Maoists killed". The Indian Express. 13 April 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- "Seven CISF jawans, 4 Maoists killed in Orissa naxal attack". The Hindu. 13 April 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- "Maoist, SOG jawan killed in Orissa encounter". Rediff. 24 December 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Three special force personnel killed in anti-Naxal operations in Orissa". Sify. 24 March 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- "Operation Greenhunt starts in Orissa". The Indian Express. 1 April 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- "Maoists kill 9 SOG jawans in Orissa landmine blast". The Hindu. 4 April 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Orissa landmine blast probe: jawans erred". The Indian Express. 16 April 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Orissa: Killed Missing Security Personnel, Say Maoists". Outlook India. 19 December 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- "Five Maoists killed in Orissa forest encounter". The Hindu. 3 January 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
- "Odisha: 3 Naxals killed in Rayagada by police, special operation group". IBNLive. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- "In biggest success, Orissa police kill 13 Maoists". The Indian Express. 15 September 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Two maoists arrested in Sambalpur district of Odisha". DNA India. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- "5 Maoists killed in encounter at Andhra-Odisha border". Deccan Herald. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015.