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'Just 10 cops went on search op'

Nine mutilated bodies of policemen including an additional SP were recovered in a forested area of Orissa, about 15 km from the Chhattisgarh border, on Tuesday morning. Ejaz Kaiser reports.

india Updated: May 25, 2011 01:38 IST
Ejaz Kaiser

Nine mutilated bodies of policemen including an additional SP were recovered in a forested area of Orissa, about 15 km from the Chhattisgarh border, on Tuesday morning.

The policemen were killed on Monday.

Condemning the incident, chief minister Raman Singh said, “The brutal attack on the police personnel shows the cruel bent of mind of the Naxalites.”

The incident has exposed how the security persons often flout warfare rules. How could an additional SP go on an operation with just 10 people, a former army officer wondered. “He needed a large force for a search operation. No counter-insurgency job is done on a vehicle like the Tata Sumo,” the officer said.

This is the third Maoist attack in 10 days. On May 17, rebels set off a landmine blast that killed seven CRPF troopers in Dantewada. And on May 19, the red brigade shot dead a police constable and abducted a special police officer, whom they later killed.

"The police team (on Monday), led by (additional superintendent of police) Rajesh Pawar, had gone to meet informers. Their vehicle developed a snag, following which they hired a tractor to return. On the way the Maoists ambushed the police party. One policeman is missing," Chhattisgarh DGP Vishwa Ranjan said.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/25_05_11_pg10a.jpg

The contingent of 10 proceeded from Gariyaband, 90 km east of Raipur, towards the Orissa border on Monday morning. They lost communication after 6 pm, which led to suspicions about a Maoist attack. The attack was confirmed by Gariyaband superintendent of police Lochan Kashyap, who said on Tuesday the Maoists resorted to firing immediately after an ambush.

Even as the search for the missing policeman continues, state police are unsure about the tractor driver, who too is reportedly missing. “Once interrogation begins, we will come to know,” said additional director general of police (anti-Maoist operations) Ram Niwas. It is suspected that the Maoists knew about the movement of the police party.

Before fleeing the rebels dismembered the bodies. “It was an unusual but ruthless act committed by the Maoists. The bullet-ridden bodies were subjected to extreme brutalities,” said Rajesh Mishra, police spokesperson.