It comes after killing of two security personnel by ultras

Odisha and Chhattisgarh police have launched a joint search operation along the border after two security personnel were killed in an ambush by left wing extremists in Nuapada district.

The incident occurred on Friday evening when 12 bike-borne security personnel were returning to their base camp in Sunabeda forest. However, two personnel – Debendra Dharua of District Voluntary Force and Prakash Rout, a special police officer – lagged behind.

A group of naxalites took advantage of the situation and ambushed the party at Dhekunpani village. “Our men fought valiantly. The two persons, however, sustained grievous bullet injuries.

We don’t have any information about casualties on the part of naxalites,” said Uma Shankar Das, Nuapada Superintendent of Police. Naxalites had taken away one AK-47 assault rifle and an INSAS rifle from the force. From early morning on Saturday, personnel of Central Reserve Police Force, Special Operation Group, CoBRA battalion, Nuapada district police and Chhattisgarh police came together and started the combing operation.

“We have intensified our search. As of now, we have not come across any group of naxalites inside Sunabeda forest,” said Mr. Das. The incident took place a couple of days after villagers in Nuapada announced their plan to take on naxalites alleging that ultras were killing innocent people by branding them as police informers.

Sunabeda forest which separates Odisha and Chhattisgarh has become a safe haven for naxalites during the past few years. Since 2009 when the first death in naxal violence was reported, around 20 people including police and forest personnel, people’s representative and tribal youths have been killed by the extremists.

Security experts say forest on the border of two States was providing them cover. Ultras soon after perpetrating violence in Odisha and Chhattisgarh slip into the forest while security personnel find it difficult to track them.

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