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Look Out Posts of Andaman & Nicobar Police crucial for safety of 800 uninhabited islands: DGP

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Port Blair, Jan 21 (PTI) Director General of Andaman and Nicobar Police Devesh Chandra Srivastava said there are about 800 uninhabited islands in the union territory and Look Out Posts (LOPs) of the police are crucial for the safety of these islands.

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Ninety-eight foreign poachers, mostly from Myanmar were arrested by Andaman and Nicobar police in 2023 for entering the union territory illegally, he said.

"The role of LOPs is crucial because they are the first line of defence in monitoring and reporting activities such as unauthorised entry of ships into our waters, trespassing by foreigners and illegal immigrants, unlawful poaching activity, drug trade, terror-related activities and any other form of illegal movement taking place, particularly on our 800 uninhabited islands," the DGP told PTI.

He said the union territory police force has multiple units like India Reserve Battalion, Armed Police unit, Marine Police Force, Anti-Poaching Task Force, 12 Jarawa Protection Posts, and Look Out Posts in far-flung Islands for the safety of the islands and its people.

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The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are exposed to various geopolitical and security challenges specially due to its close proximity to the busy international Malacca Strait shipping routes, which connect East and Southeast Asia with Europe, Africa and America.

The DGP said that cyber-related crime has become a concern for the Union territory police as they received 723 cyber-related complaints in 2023.

The Andaman and Nicobar police successfully managed to recover over Rs 38,00,000 from the cyber-related complaints, he told PTI.

Giving a brief history of the union territory police, the DGP said, "During the first war of Independence in 1857, Andaman and Nicobar Islands was used to isolate revolutionaries (convicts) from the mainland. Then, the law and order issue led to the formation of the 'Convict Police' and later 'Military Police' to meet the complex security needs of the Islands".

He said, "In the Gazette of 1905, the British considered the Andamanese tribes to be the earliest replicas of what primitive civilisation would have looked like. Therefore, they set up a special force and called it 'Bush Police' to protect the indigenous tribes specially the Jarawas. Officers like Bhaktawar Singh, who joined as a constable in 1935, played a pivotal role in winning the trust and friendship of 'Jarawas' and in establishing contact with them." "I think the young generation must know about the history of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, especially the Cellular Jail, policing and its importance in achieving India's independence," he added. PTI SN RG

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