Friday, July 24, 2009

74 security personnel killed in Naxal attacks

Express News Service

First Published : 24 Jul 2009 03:56:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 24 Jul 2009 11:14:00 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: As many as 74 security personnel, including 36 from the Andhra Pradesh Police, and 22 persons died in Naxalite attacks in the State last year. According to the white paper circulated by the Home Department in the Assembly today, 56 incidents of Naxalite violence took place in the State during the period.

The incidents include the attack on the police armoury and training school at Nayagarh, ambush of Greyhound team in the Balimela reservoir and a landmine blast at MV 126 village in Malkangiri district.

The white paper maintained that police also scored some major victories over the Naxals despite adverse situations.

The success of security forces included the arrest of three state committee members of the CPI (Maoist) from Jagatsinghpur and leader of the CPI (ML-Janashakti) Anna Reddy. The activities of the Naxals could be checked to some extent in Keonjhar, Jajpur and Dhenkanal districts following the arrests. According to the white paper, the security personnel arrested 120 Naxals last year, including some office-bearers, and recovered 785 arms and ammunition.

Besides, 764 arms and ammunition which they looted from the Nayagarh armoury were also recovered. Security forces raided Gosama hill within 24 hours of the attack on Nayagarh and recovered many arms and ammunition. Five Left wing extremists also surrendered last year.

Stating that several measures were taken to make the security forces tackle the situation more effectively, the white paper maintained that Rs 15.47 crore was provided in 2008 annual plan under the security-related expenditure (SRE) scheme for Koraput, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Ganjam, Gajapati, Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj and Sambalpur districts to counter Naxal activities.

However, the number of cognisable offences showed a marginal increase during the year compared to 2007. The number increased to 67,918 in 2008 from 67,034 in the previous year. Major crimes including rape, murder and dacoity went up. The number of rape cases registered with the police went up to 1,113 from 938. Similarly, 1,250 murder cases were recorded compared to 1,210 in 2007. Dacoities also increased to 372 during the year. There were 561 deaths from dowry torture during the year.

The white paper also mentioned the communal riots in the State triggered by the murder of VHP leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati on August 23, 2008. As many as 40 persons were killed and 137 were injured in the riots.

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