M A I N   N E W S

20 Naxalites shot dead in Orissa

Bhubaneswar, February 17
At least 20 Naxalites were killed and the figure is likely to rise further as the state government launched an intensive combing operation at various places bordering Kandhmal, Ganjam, Gajapati and Nayagarh districts.

State home secretary T. K. Mishra told newspersons here that the Left Wing ultras responsible for the Nayagarh mayhem in which 14 police men and a civilian were killed on Friday night, had been holed up during a fierce encounter with a strong contingent of security personnel comprising Greyhound, Special Operation Group and CRPF jawans.

He said the joint forces under the direct supervision of ADGP (Operation) Manmohan Prahara had almost zeroed in on the hideouts of the ultras. The combing operation, the home secretary said, will continue till “we come out victorious”.

Mishra said National Anti-Naxal Operation head Kumawat was camping in the state capital for the past two days and personally monitoring the combing operation.

Mishra said he had a talk with the union home secretary yesterday who had assured of all help to deal with the situation. The Centre had sent two helicopters and paramilitary forces, including Greyhound jawans, which were being pressed in the combing operation.

Sources said the Naxalites were virtually trapped inside the forest with all escape routes being sealed by the police. Under such condition, the ultras would be either killed or captured as they had no option to flee from the area.

Nearly 500 heavily armed Naxalites laid a seize to Nayagarh town on Friday night, about 90 km from the state capital, and carried out simultaneous attacks on the town police station, district armoury and Police Training School and looted a huge caches of arms and ammunition. — UNI



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