Visakhapatnam, Jun 30: Andhra Pradesh Home Minister K Jana Reddy described the Maoists attacking the Greyhound police returning to their base camp in Malkangiri district of Orissa after a combing operation in Chitrakoot forest area yesterday, as ''dastardly and very sad''.
Addressing a press conference at the hospital here, where he visited the eight police personnel undergoing treatment following the attack, the Minister said the Andhra Pradesh Police were doing a great job in checking Maoist activities in the Andhra-Orissa Border (AOB) region to restore confidence among the people of nearby villages.
He said 26 police personnel were safe with 18 of them in Chitra Konda Police Station, while search and rescue operations were on to trace the missing 32 jawans with the help of Navy and ONGC helicopters. Navy divers were pressed into service along with the police in the search operations.
An additional force of 300 CrPF and Greyhound police personnel were being deployed in the search and combing operations and the forces would reach the area by this afternoon, he said, adding that an army helicopter would be deployed from West Bengal for the troop's mobilisation.
Mr Reddy said that with such incidents, the outlaws might think that they have an upper hand, but the State Government would take necessary and appropriate action to counter their misadventures.
He said the police force in the AOB region as well as Chhattisgarh-Khammam border would be strengthened and measures would be taken to boost the operations in the coming days.