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Naveen, Janaki visits R Udayagiri after Naxalite attack

Written by: Staff
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Berhampur, Mar 26 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and former Chief Minister J B Pattnaik today visited the small town of R Udayagiri which was attacked by armed Maoists last Friday.

The two political rivals, however, did not visit the house of Ratnamani, wife of R Udayagiri Sub-Jailor Rabinarayan Sethi, who was taken hostage by the Maoists along with police officer Ranjan Mallick.

The Chief Minister arrived at R Udayagiri by helicopter while Leader of Opposition in the state assembly J B Pattnaik came by road with a number of party supporters.

Mr Naveen Patnaik came to a local health centre to inquire about the health condition of the seven people injured in the landmine blast by the Maoists while clearing the road.

He then visited Tahasil office, police station, OSAP barrack and the Sub-Jail accompanied by Power Minister Surya Narayan Patra, Berhampur MLA Ramesh Chandra Chau Patnaik, Ramgiri MLA Bharat Paika, Fisheries Minister Golak Bihari Nayak and district office bearers.

The Chief Minister praised the courageous action of a handful of OSAP jawans who managed to tackle 500 Maoists.

''The state government has initiated steps to strengthen the police force,'' he said, adding that all the government buildings damaged in the Maoists attack would be repaired soon.

Replying to a question about compensation to the OSAP sepoys killed in the Maoists attack, the Chief Minister said he would declare it in Bhubaneswar soon.

He left for Bhubaneswar by road after his helicopter developed some mechanical snag.

The Leader of Opposition, however, criticised the state government for the entire fiasco.

The failure of the government in tackling Naxals and inefficient intelligence sources led to the Maoist attack in R Udayagiri, Mr J B Pattanaik remarked.

Gajapati Superintendent of Police Amitendra Nath Sinha said they have not received any demand so far from the Maoists to release the two government officials.

''Whereabouts of the two government officers kidnapped by the Maoists were yet to be traced,'' he added.

Eight platoons of police have been deployed in R Udayagiri, he said.

Police believe the Maoists have taken the two officers to some other area, the SP said.

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