Heavy casualty on naxalites, forces zeroed in on hideouts

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 17 (UNI) Several naxalites were reportedly killed during a fierce encounter with a strong contingent of security personnel comprising Greyhound, Special Operation Group, CRPF and OSAP jawans, who have almost zeroed in on the fleeing ultras hiding on Kupari hill bordering Ganjam district after the Friday's mayhem in Nayagarh killing 13 policemen and a civilian besides looting huge caches of arms and ammunition.

Orissa Home Secretary Tarun Kanti Mishra today said here that there has been a heavy casualty on the naxalites side during the last night encounter but refused to divulge the details.

He said three policemen engaged in the combing operation were also found missing in the encounter, continuing for the second day today, between the heavy forces and over 300 strong ultras, who virtually were trapped inside the forest and unable to proceed beyond Gasama as all the exit points were sealed by the security forces.

Further reports said the rebels last night blasted a private bus, which they had hijacked from Nayagarh after looting the arms from the district armoury, inside the forest A senior police official said additional reinforcement from Gajapati, Ganjam, Koraput, Phulbani and Nayagarh were rushed to the site and a red alert has been sounded in all the naxal dominated areas to keep a strong vigil on the movement of the left wing ultras Senior police officials including Superintendent of Police of Nayagarh, Gajapati, Ganjam and Berhampur were supervising the joint combing operation.

Sources said the naxal virtually were holed up inside the forest with all the escape routes being sealed by the police.

Under such condition, the ultras would be either killed or captured as they had no other options left with them to flee from their hide out, they added.

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