Over 50 personnel of the anti-naxal force of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa police were feared drowned in Balimela reservoir in Orissa's southern district of Malkangiri on Sunday as the boat ferrying them came under gunfire by Maoists from atop a nearby hill.
Orissa Director General of Police Gopal Nanda told PTI that the incident took place near Alampetta village when nearly 64 security personnel of the elite Greyhound Force were on their way to Chitrakonda in the state by a boat for a joint operation against the Maoists.
Of the 64 personnel on board, eight could manage to swim ashore with bullet injuries on them while search operation was launched to trace the missing policemen.
"We cannot specify the exact number of jawans missing at this moment," he said adding three of them were from Chitrakonda police station.
According to Malkangiri Superintendent of Police S K Gajbhiye, though no body of the security personnel was found so far the search team recovered some caps used by the jawans from the 40-meter deep reservoir.
The eight personnel who swam ashore were rushed to hospital for treatment.