Five more CRPF companies sought,police stations to be fortified

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 18 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said all police stations in the state would be fortified and five more India Reserve Battalion created and urged Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil to send five more CRPF companies while combing operation against the Naxalites further intensified to apprehend the ultras, involved in the killing of 17 policemen and a civilian at Nayagarh.

Mr Patnaik said he spoke to the Union Home Minister, who agreed to send 500 CRPF jawans to the state to join the ongoing combing operation, one of its biggest in the history of encounter against the Naxals in Orissa, launched in the borders of Ganjam and Phulbani for the past three days following the Nayagarh killings.

Mr Patnaik announced ten measures to counter any form of extremist violence and lawlessness and said all police stations and armouries in the state would be fortified under the fortification scheme.

He said 98 police stations and 20 armouries had already been covered under the scheme and the fortification of the rest would be completed soon.

All available vacancies in Police department would be filled up within the shortest possible time, while an additional 1000 posts created to strengthen the Special Operation Group (SOG) Moreover, about 1300 posts of constables and sepoys and 300 other ranks would be created for OSAP (Special Security) battalions for guarding the newly fortified police stations, he said adding the State Government would obtain sanction from the Centre to create five more India Reserve battalion Meanwhile, he said there had been a substantial casualty on the side of the Naxalites and the details of the casualties were being collected.

The Chief Minister said this morning the Greyhound, Special Operation Group and CRPF had seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition, left behind by the Naxals near Gosma, where they were holed up after the Nayagarh operation.

Mr Patnaik said about 40 per cent of the weapons and 50 per cent of the ammunition, looted by the naxalites, had been recovered so far, and an intensive combing operation was in progress in the area.

He said the groups of Naxals would be apprehended shortly, adding police along with the Greyhound, SOG and CRPF had rummaged through the jungles of Bhanjanagar, Tarasingh, Sorada and gallery area and sighted a major group at Gosama.

He said offensive action was undertaken in the Gosama leading to severe firing from both sides, and in the encounter yesterday three policemen were killed, but the naxalites suffered heavy casualties.

Home Secretary T K Mishra and Director General of Police Gopal Nanda had earlier told newspersons that about 20 Naxalites had been killed and the number was likely to rise further as the Naxalites had been encircled by the forces and all their escape routes sealed.

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