Orissa naxal attack, toll rises to 16, 2extremist nabbed

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 21: One more Orissa police personnel injured in the Feb 15 naxalite attack in Nayagarh, succumbed to the bullet injuries taking the total toll to 16, even as two more ultras have been nabbed. Two ultras were nabbed as the security forces intensified the combing operation on the sixth day today flushing out the naxalites hiding in various jungles in the borders of Kandhmal and Ganjam after the mayhem.

Sources said Mahipur outpost constable Chintamani Sahu who was admitted along with seven others at the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack succumbed to the injuries last night, while two more constables treated at the Nayagarh Hospital were shifted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital as their condition aggravated. As many as nine police personnel were now being treated at the SCB Medical College and Hospital. The security personnel engaged in the combing operation yesterday managed to nab two naxalites involved in the Nayagarh operation and recovered from them a 9 mm pistol,looted from the Nayagarh District Armoury.

On interrogation the two ultras were identified as Reena alias Manjulata Muduli and Pratap Kambata. Police said Reena was inducted to the Naxal cadre six years back and was an active member of Sambalpur-Deogarh committee. She was also involved in as many as ten murders and looting of Deogarh Armoury.

The Orissa government had already pressed sniffer dogs and two Indian Air Force helicopters to track the movement of the ultras hiding in various jungles in small groups after a fierce encounter at the Gasama hill. Ganjam Superintendnet of Police S Debadutta Singh, supervising the combing operation in the birders of Ganjam and Kandhmal, said the security forces have launched an intensive search operation in Brahmanigaon, Tumba and border areas of Gajapati and Rayagada districts.

Police suspected that the Naxalites involved in the Nayagarh mayhem, had been divided in to small groups in the wake of mounting pressure from the security forces and hiding themselves in various villages and dense forest in their bid to find some escape routes to flee to the neighbouring Chhatisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said intelligence based operations are now continuing in definite operational zones while adequate forces have been deployed in strategic location to flush out the ultras and recover the looted arms and ammunition.

The forces engaged in the combing operation had already retrieved nearly 40 per cent of the arms and 50 per cent of the ammunition from the Gasama hill.

Mr Patnaik said the combing and search operation to locate and intercept the retreating rebels in the jungles of Ganjam, Kandhmal, Gajapati and Nayagarh districts were being conducted in full swing.

Over 40 companies of paramilitary forces and Orissa state armed police forces are currently engaged in the operation, considered to be the biggest in the state. At least three platoons of the specially trained Greyhound jawans form Andhra Pradesh have been assisting the security forces to track the left wing ultras.

UNI

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