Saturday, June 20, 2009

Naveen air-dashes Koraput, attends funeral of nine cops killed by Maoist

19 Jun 2009, 2041 hrs IST, Nageshwar Patnaik, ET Bureau

Rattled by growing violent attacks by Maoists on police, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday air-dashed to Koraput to attend the funeral of the
nine cops who were killed by a landmine blast on Thursday to boost up their sagging moral.

After his arrival in the town, relatives of the victims surrounded the chief minister and cried bitterly. The chief minister assured them that appropriate steps would be taken to fight out the Maoists.

Later, Mr Patnaik reviewed the law and order situation in the local Circuit House. The meeting, among others, was attended by state director general of police Manmohan Praharaj, district collector and senior police officials.

Speaking to reporters after the funeral ceremony, chief minister Mr Patnaik said his government was serious to tackle the Naxal problem.

"All the actions against the Naxals will be streamlined. Combing operations will be increased," he said.

In Bhubaneswar, meanwhile, the Opposition stalled the business of the Assembly urging the Speaker to suspend the routine businesses of the House and allow an adjournment motion to discuss the Naxal menace.

As the Speaker did not agree to suspend the Question Hour business stating that Leader of the House was not present, the Opposition members walked out.

When the Speaker Pradeep Amat tried to conduct the business of the House after a brief adjournment following the Opposition's walkout, the Congress and BJP members again entered the House and raised their demand for special debate on the Maoist problem. This led to pandemonium, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House five times in
the pre-lunch session.

After his return from Koraput, chief minister Mr Patnaik is expected to make a statement in the Assembly late in the evening on the present situation in the district.

The cops – who were traveling in a jeep - were killed when suspected Maoists guerrillas on Thursday morning detonated landmine at Jogi Pallur, 13 km from Laxmpur police station, in Koraput district.

The bodies of the victims were sent to their villages by special vehicles.

Seventeen of the 30 districts in the state have already come under the grips of the Maoists in the last nines years. Villages under Narayanpatna police station in the district has been witnessing an agitation by tribals backed b Maoists over land rights

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