Andhra government vows to flush out Naxal menace

VISAKHAPATNAM: Condemning the Maoist attack on the elite Greyhound force in Malkangiri district of Orissa, the Andhra Pradesh government on Monday vowed to intensify efforts to root out the Naxalite menace in the state.

“We have taken this incident very seriously. We have to step up our efforts by 10 times to cleanse the state,” Home Minister K Jana Reddy said here, after visiting the injured personnel of the anti-naxal force at a hospital here.

The state government would give more sophisticated training to Greyhounds and focus on strengthening intelligence mechanism, he said.

Expressing concern over the growing naxal activities along the state borders with Chattisgarh and Orissa, Reddy said the government would intensify combing operations to flush out the ultras in the two regions.

He appealed to the Maoists to give up the path of violence and join the mainstream.

About 35 personnel of Greyhounds, Andhra Pradesh’s elite anti-naxal force, are feared drowned when Maoists rained bullets on a launch carrying the security personnel and sinking the vessel in the Balimela reservoir along the Andhra-Orissa border on Sunday.

Meanwhile, state Director General of Police (DGP) S S P Yadav said here that massive search operations have been launched to trace the missing personnel.

Six helicopters of Army, Navy and ONGC and divers have been pressed into service for the rescue operations in thick forests and in Balimela as well as Sileru reservoirs on the Andhra-Orissa border.

A doctor attending on the injured cops said eight policemen were admitted to the hospital and all of them were out of danger.

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