Patil condemns naxal attack, central team visits Orissa

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New Delhi, Feb 16 (UNI) Home Minister Shivraj Patil today condemned the Naxal attack at Nayagarh in Orissa, which killed 13 policemen and a civilian, and asked the state government to utilise central force for taking strong action against the culprits.

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 today.

Helicopters have been provided to the Orissa Government to assist in search operations. The Andhra Pradesh Government has also sent some personnel of Greyhound forces to Orissa, Mr Patil added.

A high-level team of officers from the ministry, para-military forces and other central security agencies has been sent to Orissa to review the situation and hold detailed discussions with the State Government with regard to further action. The team is led by the Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Home Ministry M L Kumawat.

Mourning the loss of lives in the naxal attack, Mr Patil said, ''I condemn the Naxal attack which took place at Nayagarh in Orissa yesterday and condole the death of 13 policemen and a civilian in the incident. I convey my sympathies to the kin of the deceased and pray for speedy recovery of the injured.'' He expressed confidence that the culprits would be nabbed soon and brought to book.

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