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Cops clueless about bodies

Bhubaneswar, June 11: Even as 24 hours have passed since the exchange of fire between police and Maoists at Kankadahada woods in Dhenkanal, bodies of the rebels reportedly killed in the encounter are yet to be recovered.

“We are yet to recover any body although we have intensified combing operations in and around the shootout spot,” said Dhenkanal superintendent of police (SP) S.K. Kaushal.

Yesterday, the special operations group of the state police had an exchange of fire with the Maoists. The police reportedly fired 120 rounds during the half-an-hour-long encounter.

Local people claimed two Maoists died in the shootout. “But the rebels seem to have taken away the bodies of their team members,” said the SP.

The police have recovered a cache of arms and ammunition, including a SLR rifle, a revolver, a flask bomb and 75 live bullets, from the spot. Food, medicines and uniforms of Naxalites were also seized.

Meanwhile, six hardcore Maoists, including a woman, were apprehended from the dense Saranda forest on Orissa-Jharkhand border last night, the police said today.

The Maoists were caught by a special task force and CRPF jawans conducting an intensified patrolling along the Orissa border to check infiltration. The police also seized few arms and four live bombs from the arrested Maoist’s hideouts.

The arrested Maoists were taken to an undisclosed place for interrogation.

While the securitymen in both Rourkela and Sundargarh districts claimed that they had intensified patrolling in the bordering areas, sources said it was being hampered by the lack of human resources.

The Naxalites have stepped up their activities along the Keonjhar-Jajpur-Dhenkanal border. On February 1, Maoists had struck at the beat house located inside the Kandahara forests where a forester, three forest guards and a cook were asleep. While the two forest guards and the cook managed to flee, the Maoists dragged the forester, Ghanshyam Behera (50), and the two remaining forest guards — Kumud Samal (24) and Nilamani Mallick (52) — to a secluded place a few yards away and killed them.

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