Naxals kill 13 policemen; Patil condemns attack

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 16 (UNI) Armed Naxalites killed at least 13 police personnel and another person in late night raids on police stations, Police Training School and the district armoury at Nayagarh, about 130 km from here, following which the Orissa government today requisitioned two units of Greyhound police from Andhra Pradesh.

The state government also sought assistance from Andhra to encounter the fleeing Naxalites.

The ultras were surrounded by the police force this morning near Kupari hill bordering Phulbani district. A fierce encounter was continuing in the area with the Naxalites, who had taken shelter on the hill top after the last night's incident.

''There is a war-like situation and two of the cadres have been arrested so far,'' official sources said.

Helicopters from Andhra Pradesh police were pressed in the combing operation to flush out the ultras from the hills.

All exit routes of the area had been sealed and were being guarded by heavy police force, the police said, adding that over 300 Naxalites had virtually been surrounded by the joint operation of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh police.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik airdashed to the affected area along with Home Secretary Tarun Kanti Mishra for quick assessment of the situation. He visited the Police Training Centre, police stations, District Armoury and the hospital, where the injured police personnel had been admitted.

On return, he told the state Assembly that a massive manhunt was on to track down the militants saying that the units of special operation group and the CRPF had been sent to the area.

Condoling the death of the slain police personnel, the Chief Minister announced an ex gratia of Rs four lakh to the kin of the deceased along with an insurance coverage of Rs 10 lakh.

He said one of the family members of the deceased would be provided with a job and Rs two lakh to the family of the civilian who lost his life in the carnage.

Mr Patnaik also announced that the state government would bear the treatment cost of the police personnel admitted to different hospitals.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil, in New Delhi, condemned the attack and asked the state government to utilise central forces for taking strong action against the perpetrators.

The Union Home Ministry is in touch with the Orissa Government.

It has asked the state Government to utilise our forces, which are already available with them, for taking immediate and strong action against the culprits. Necessary instructions have also been given to CRPF, Mr Patil said in a statement.

The Opposition in Orissa Assembly..... picking up from para one, line one of CA 26 'Insurgency-Orissa-Second Lead Naxalite Two Bhubaneswar.

UNI DP PP PL RL KP1858

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