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Ambush confirms new Maoist front along Orissa-C’garh border
RAIPUR, MAY 25 (AGENCIES):
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Published on 25 May. 2011 10:28 PM IST
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For long, it has been suspected that the Maoists have opened a new front along the border of central Chhattisgarh and Orissa. An ambush on Monday confirmed that nine policemen, including a young officer, were killed, just 140 kilometres from the state capital, stated TOI.
Early Tuesday morning, the bodies were found splayed in the bushes on both sides of a mud road. The bodies looked battered, and in one case, the skull had come apart, said an eyewitness. Not far, stood a Sumo vehicle, ridden with bullet holes on the left rear.
The team of Chhattisgarh policemen had come under sharp Maoist fire, 14 kilometres from the state border, near Sonabeda in Nuapara district of Orissa. They had travelled from Gariaband police station, part of Raipur district, 120 kilometres from the state capital. Gariaband adjoins Nuapara, and shares a contiguous forest area.
The ambush took place in the evening, between 4-5 pm, but late night, the police of both states were still in the dark, struggling to piece together what had happened based on TV reports.
Tuesday morning, a team reached the spot and found nine bodies, including that of additional superintendent of police, Rajesh Pawar, four constables and three special police officers. One constable, Holaram Sahu, could not be traced. "We are not sure whether he is dead or alive," said Vishwa Ranjan, Director General of Police. "He could have escaped, or taken hostage, or maybe he had left the group earlier".
The team of plainclothes policemen had travelled to Orissa not for an operation, but to "verify information". The ASP had been told that two Maoists had deserted their group and come home in a border village. "He wanted to win them over," said an officer. But their vehicle broke down, a little ahead of Sonabeda. They towed it to a village repair shop with the help of a tractor. They had left the shop at 4 pm and barely travelled a distance of one kilometre when they came under attack. "Their cover might have been blown in the village. The military company of the Maoists was possibly nearby and took position as soon as it was alerted.
Or maybe this had all along been a trap," said the officer. The Maoists took away the weapons of the team, including AK and Insas rifles.
Those who have seen the bodies said there were sharp cuts that indicated mutiliation, but DGP Vishwa Ranjan said this had been ruled out by the post mortem investigation.
"The fire came from close range, five metres away. It can break open a skull, and leave sharp injury marks," he said.

 
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