Dhenkanal: The very mention of January 31, 2007 always rings a bell, at least for the Forest department staff here.
On this day, Maoists laid siege to Kandara beat house under tribal dominated Kankadahada block in Dhenkanal district and killed three staff in a barbaric manner.
13 years have passed since this horrifying incident took place. As of now, there is no trace of any Maoists activities in the area.
But, the mute spectator to the barbaric event, the beat house, still instills a kind of fear among the staff. Even today, the employees posted at the beat house have made it a point to leave the office before the fall of night.
Anantapur reserve forest under Kamakhyanagar eastern range comes under this beat house. The employees posted here are supposed to keep a watch on the timber mafias. With the beat house going unmanned at nights, the timber mafias, cashing in on it, are smuggling costly timbers from the Anantapur reserve forest to neighbouring Jajpur district via Khidikidwar and Kandar.
Since there have been no Maoists activities in the areas bordering Jajpur-Dhenkanal border and Kankadahada block, the Forest department is contemplating on reconstructing the beat house.
When contacted, DFO Prakash Chand Gogineni said the existing beat house is a two-room concrete house. If the beat house gets a new look with all security arrangements, the employees can stay there and do their night duties without any fear.
The work on the beat house will start soon, it was learnt.