Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Red alert in Orissa after cops gun down 2 rebels

23 Jun 2009, 0520 hrs IST, TIMES NEWS NETWORK & AGENCIES

KORAPUT/RANCHI: Cops in Orissa's Malkangiri district gunned down two Maoists during an anti-Naxal operation around 3 am on Monday, the first of the
two-day bandh called by CPI (Maoists) across Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand in protest against security forces' operation in Lalgarh in West Bengal.

"The dead rebels were in the age group of 25-30 years, but their identities are not known yet," said a senior police officer.

The scene of the pre-dawn action was MV-12, about 10 km from the district headquarters town of Malkangiri. Police said three Maoists, who were travelling on cycles, opened fire on security personnel before slipping into the forest and hiding in a forest near MV-12. Soon SP Satya Brata Bhoi led a party of cops and SOG jawans in a combing operation.

"The deceased Maoists were part of the group of three who fired at the cops. While two died on the spot, one fled," deputy inspector-general of police Sanjeev Panda said.

Police have sounded a red alert in the Maoist-hit Koraput, Rayagada and Malkangiri districts of southern Orissa. Only five days ago, Maoists had killed nine securitymen in a landmine blast in Koraput district.

"No untoward incident has yet been reported and the situation is under control. Special security arrangements have been made in the border areas to stop Maoists from moving over to neighbouring states," Panda said.

Jharkhand police have also sounded a high alert. "Special instructions have been given on landmines," said Jharkhand police spokesperson SN Pradhan. "All central and state intelligence and security agencies are working in tandem," Pradhan added.

Maoists targeted an anti-landmine vehicle on its way to Ghatshila in East Singhbhum district in Jharkhand. Police said the vehicle was not damaged and there were no reports of any casualty.

In Chhattisgarh, rail traffic was hit in interior areas of Kanker and Bastar and a Visakhapatnam-bound train was terminated in Dantewada district. Chhattisgarh DGP Vishwaranjan said security to trains and vital installations has been beefed up

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