Nayagarh toll rises to 16; CM claims police success as reason

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 21 (UNI) With one more policeman succumbing to his injuries, the toll in the February 15 Nayagarh Naxalite attack rose to 16, while Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today averred that the massacre was triggered by the recent success of police in raiding Naxal hideouts and containing violence to a significant extent.

Official sources said Mahipur outpost constable Chintamani Sahu, admitted along with seven others at the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, succumbed last night.

Two more constables, undergoing treatment at the Nayagarh Hospital, were shifted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital as their condition deteriorated, sources added.

As many as nine police personnel were now being treated at the SCB Medical College and Hospital.

Sources also said the security personnel, engaged in the combing operation, yesterday managed to nab two Naxalites, involved in the Nayagarh operation and seized a 9 mm pistol, looted from the Nayagarh District Armoury.

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

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister said in the Assembly that the Nayagarh mayhem was the outcome of pro-active security and administrative measures, taken by Orissa police to combat the Naxalite menace.

Mr Patnaik said the security forces conducted raids in Naxal hideouts and engaged the rebels on 19 occasions in which seven hardcore ultras were killed.

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