A high alert was sounded in Orissa after the killing of 24 Eastern Frontier Rifle jawans by Maoists in West Bengal amidst indications by the state government that the joint special operations against the red rebels would be launched by month end.
The decision on the joint special operations was taken at a high-level meeting in Bhubaneswar chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who had already given the go ahead, official sources said.
"We will start the operation immediately after arrival of the central para-military force (CPMF)," a top police official, who attended the meeting, told reporters.
The operational head of the central forces had already visited some parts of southern Orissa, a procedure generally followed before launching of a joint operation, he said adding the combat operation was likely to start in worst hit districts like Malkangiri, Koraput and Rayagada.
"We cannot give the exact date of launching of the operation. Every thing depends on the force arrival," he said.
Chief secretary TK Mishra said at least five battalions of the CPMF were likely to arrive very soon.
Director of Intelligence Prakash Mishra said the jawans engaged in anti-Maoist operation would be kept at fortified places after yesterday's attacks in West Bengal.