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40 per cent of looted arms recovered in Nayagarh district

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Feeling the heat: Rifles and ammunition abandoned by fleeing naxalites near the Gasama hills in Orissa on Monday. (Right) A vehicle left behind.
Feeling the heat: Rifles and ammunition abandoned by fleeing naxalites near the Gasama hills in Orissa on Monday. (Right) A vehicle left behind.

Prafulla Das

Centre accedes to Orissa request, to send five more CRPF companies

All police vacancies will be filled expeditiously, says Patnaik

Strength of the Special Operation Group will be increased

BHUBANESWAR: Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday said the police had recovered about 40 per cent of the weapons looted by Maoists from Nayagarh district of the State.

Making a statement in the Assembly, Mr. Patnaik said police searching the forests had also recovered more than 50 per cent of the ammunition.

The arms and ammunition were seized from the forests near Gasama village in Ganjam district on Monday morning.

At least 1,100 weapons of different make and around two lakh live bullets were taken away from two arms depots and three police stations in Nayagarh on Friday night.

Combing operation on

Mr. Patnaik said an intensive combing operation was on and it was expected that all the naxalites involved in the raids would be caught soon.

He informed the House that he had spoken to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil requesting him to send five more companies of Central Reserve Police Force consisting of 500 persons for the anti-naxalite operation. Mr. Patil had agreed to send the CRPF men immediately, he added.

Meanwhile, sources said a ‘zonal commander’ of the Maoists had been killed during the police operation at Gasama on Sunday.

The authorities had earlier claimed that about 20 Maoists and three policemen were killed during an encounter on Saturday. While the bodies of the policemen were recovered, the police, however, had not been able to trace the bodies of the extremists killed. Mr. Patnaik also announced a series of measures that his government would take to counter extremist violence and lawlessness.

All police vacancies would be filled expeditiously within the shortest possible time and all the stations and armouries would be fortified, he said. About 1,300 posts of constables and sepoys would be created in the Orissa State Armed Police (Special Security) Battalions for guarding the newly fortified police stations.

Besides, the strength of the Special Operation Group of the State police will be increased by sanctioning 1000 additional posts. Five India Reserve Battalions will be created after obtaining sanction from the Centre, Mr. Patnaik added.

The Chief Minister made the statement after Opposition members stalled proceedings demanding a special discussion on the Maoist strike.

Demand opposed

Members of the ruling parties, however, opposed the demand saying the issue should not be taken up for discussion at this juncture when the operation to counter the extremists was on.

The Chief Minister also condoled the death of the policemen at Gasama and all those killed in the naxalite attack on Friday night.

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