35 Greyhound cops still missing

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Bhubaneswar, July 2 (UNI) One more body of a Greyhound jawan was recovered from the Chitrakonda reservoir today, while 35 elite policemen of Andhra Pradesh remained untraced even after four days of the bloody Naxalite ambush on a Greyhound commando group inside the Chitrakonda reservoir.

The rescue-search and combing operation launched jointly by the Andhra Pradesh and Orissa police since Sunday last and assisted by the Navy and ONGC divers today could recover only one body.

Earlier, the team had retrieved one body from the river whose hands and legs were found tied. Malkangiri Superintendent of Police S K Gojbhiye said the body recovered today was airlifted to Visakhapatanam.

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has requested the Centre to send six more companies of CRPF to intensify the combing operation in the area to nab the Naxalites involved in the murderous attack on the Greyhound commandos.

The rescue team has so far recovered only two Insas, one SLR, one LMG and one AK 47 rifle from the reservoir.The team had identified the spot in the reservoir where the motorboat carrying the 64 jawans had capsized following exchange of fire.

However, the boat could not be retrieved from the reservoir. The police apprehended that some cops might have been trapped inside the boat as it was overcrowded when it capsized.

Director General Police of Andhra Pradesh yesterday visited the site of crime where the vessel capsized.

Jawans from the Special Operation Group (SOG) from Orissa, Greyhound cops from Andhra Pradesh, CRPF personnel, divers from the Navy and ONGC were engaged in the rescue and search operation for the fourth day today.

The rescue team even used the latest sonar equipment to trace the missing jawans but in vain.

The Greyhound jawans were returning after a combing operation in the cut-off areas on the Orissa-Andhra border when the Naxalites hiding on a hill-top near Alampeka attacked the force with grenades and fired indiscriminately from the LMGs.

The boat could not sustain the heavy exchange of fire and capsized in the reservoir.

Only 29 of the 64 jawans could swim to safety. Fifteen of them, who received bullet injuries, were airlifted to Visakhapatanam for treatment.


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