Malkangiri, June 29 : Over 50 policemen belonging to the anti-naxal force of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa police were feared drowned in Balimela reservoir in Orissa's Malkangiri district on Sunday.
Over 64 policemen travelling in a boat were fired upon from top of a nearby hill by the naxalites.
The rebels managed to overturn the boat by targeting its operator after an exchange of fire between the two sides.
As a result over 50 policemen are still missing.
The policemen were on a joint operation in Chitrakonda when the boat overturned, State Director General of Police (DGP) Gopal Nanda said.
While eight security personnel managed to swim out, a search operation has been started to trace the missing ones.
Malkangiri Superintendent of Police S K Gajbhiye said some caps used by the personnel were recovered from the 40-meter deep reservoir.
Eight personnel who swam ashore and sustained bullet injuries have been admitted to the hospital. Fire brigade personnel and police force have launched a search operation to find clues about the missing personnel.