Mah to have joint operation against naxals with AP,Chh'garh:Patil

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Nagpur, Oct 27 (UNI) Maharashtra police will shortly launch a joint operation with their counterparts in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh against the naxalite menace in the three states, Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil said today.

Speaking to reporters here, Mr Patil, who also holds the Home portfolio, said the state government would hold talks in this regard with the governments of the two other states ''very soon''. Besides, the state government would also have a 'special action group' of its own to counter the menace, he said.

Referring to the death of four policemen in an encounter with naxalites in Gadchiroli district in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra yesterday, he said the outlaws had suddenly stepped up their activities because they were getting marginalised.

''The operation by police against naxalites has been very effective. The people in the affected areas are not cooperating with naxal outfits. This has frustrated them. Yesterday's shoot-out was a consequence of this frustration,'' he said.

Mr Patil said the people in Aheri and Etapali town in Gadchiroli district observed a spontaneous 'bandh' today and yesterday as a mark of respect to the policemen who fell to bullets. People in the district are with the police, and they expressed their solidarity, he said.

The government will pay a compensation of Rs 32 lakh to the kin of the Police Sub-Inspector (PSI) and Rs 30 lakh each to those of the three police constables killed in the encounter, Mr Patil said.

Besides, their families would continue to get the salary that the officer and men would have drawn during the remaining part of their service, he said.

Earlier in the day, Mr Patil visited Gadchiroli to pay homage to the four policemen, who laid down their lives while fighting the outlaws. He was accompanied by state Director General of Police (DGP) A N Roy, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Anti-Naxal Operation (ANO) Pankaj Gupta and Special Inspector General (Nagpur Range) Shrikant Sawarkar.

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