Thursday, April 16, 2009

Police operation on in Koraput, Maoist's body found

15 Apr 2009, 0647 hrs IST, Rajaram Satapathy & Satyanarayan Pattnaik, TNN



BHUBANESWAR / KORAPUT: Police on Tuesday found a body of a suspected Maoist and took into custody four others from in Koraput district's Talameteng
village, the scene of a fierce battle going on for the past two days.

The cops' operation is to neutralize those who had attacked the Nalco bauxite mine atop the Panchapatmalli hill on Sunday and killed 10 CISF jawans. About six tons of explosives looted from the mines by the Red rebels were recovered from the village.

The village is about 13 km down the hill. Police have "come to know" that some villagers aided the 200-odd Maoists. All villagers have fled further to the jungle as the CRPF and the Special Operation Group (SOG) commandos of the Orissa police continued their raids. "The operation will continue," DIG Sanjeeb Panda said.

Apart from huge explosives, the Naxalites had taken away 10 INSAS rifles, one LMG on Sunday. From their uniform, police suspect that the lone deceased woman Naxalite was a commander and a male victim her deputy. The attack was jointly carried out by Naxalites from Chhatisgarh and Koraput.

"We are trying to piece together every bit of information to know how the Naxalites could plan such a big attack and executed it. This cannot be possible without the involvement of locals," said a police official.

The Naxalites had swooped down on the explosive store house and the fire station of the mines and continued the gun battle for around 10 hours. While retreating the Red extremists took away a truck filled with explosives and four other vehicles, including a bus.

"The hijacked vehicles have been traced. We are trying to find out how the extremists knew that the truck was waiting to unload explosives," the official said. Police said the rebels had unloaded the explosive containers each weighing 25 kg from the truck and buried them at two separate places down the hill.

"At 1400 meters height, the Naxalites had abandoned the vehicles, but took away the explosive containers around 500 meters down the hill. As combing operation started they deserted the area leaving behind the containers. We have recovered the explosives," DIG Panda said.

A guard of honour was given to the 10 slain CISF jawans at Damanjodi in the presence of Director General CISF N R Das who had rushed to Damanjodi on Monday to take stock of the situation.

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