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R Udayagiri attack: Red alert sounded in South Orissa

Written by: Staff
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Berhampur, Orissa, Mar 25 (UNI) Red alert has been sounded in the entire south Orissa following yesterday's attack by the Maoists in R Udayagiri in Gajapati district.

The sleepy town has now virtually turned into a police camp and the borders of Gajapati with Andhra Pradesh have been sealed.

The police have sounded red alert in Ganjam, Kandhamala and Boudh.

A thorough checking of vehicles entering these districts was being conducted, official sources said.

The Police have not yet traced the whereabouts of two hostages Officer-in-Charge R Udayagiri police station Ranjan Mallick and Jailor of the Sub Jail Rabinarayan Sethi taken by the Maoists.

The combing operation by the police in association with the Orissa State Armed Police (OSAP) 3rd Battalion has turned out to be futile on the second day.

A Special Operation Group (SOG) would soon reach Gajapati to rescue the two government employees, Southern Range Deputy Inspector General of Police S K Upadhyaya said.

The DIG remained tight lipped about the future course of action of the police to tackle the situation and safe release of the two hostages.

Gajapati Superintendent of Police Amitendra Nath Sinha, who is camping at R Udayagiri since yesterday, led the police force to clear the R Udayagiri-Berhampur road today. The road was blocked by the Maoists with tree logs before their operation. No landmines were found in the entire area blocked by the extremists.

Besides the police defused a live bomb inside the R Udayagiri police station today. The bomb was hidden under the ransacked paper bundles, Mr Sinha said.

He said at least 500 extremists took over the town in the wee hours yesterday and outnumbered the police force.

There was only one platoon of police force in the OSAP barrack.

This helped the extremists to go on a rampage attacking the government establishments.

Three jawans were killed and five injured during an exchange of fire between the police force and the Maoists which continued for more than three hours.

The ultras also attacked the Sub Jail and freed all the 40 prisoners.

Basant Kumar Singh, the sole prisoner now lodged in the jail, said the Maoists entered the Sub Jail and released all the prisoners and took them in a vehicle about one kilometer away.

Singh said he pretended a stomach problem and escaped from their clutches.

He later ran towards R Udayagiri and entered the Sub Jail.

UNI

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