36 commandos missing, may be held by Maoists
The possibility of some missing Greyhound commandos being held captive by Maoists after Sunday’s attack in Balimela reservoir is not being ruled out, reports Soumyajit Pattnaik.Updated: Jul 02, 2008 01:49 IST
The possibility of some missing Greyhound commandos being held captive by Maoists after Sunday’s attack in Balimela reservoir is not being ruled out.
Though over 48 hours have passed since the Maoists attacked a motorboat carrying 60 Greyhound personnel and sank it, not a single body has been found in the reservoir. Only one has been recovered with both hands tied in the back.
According to police sources, the commando might have been captured after he swam to safety and then shot by the Maoists. There is no trace of the other 36 commandos, leading the authorities to believe that some of them may have been held captive by the guerrillas.
Malkangiri SP Satish Gajbhiye told HT: “The number of guerrillas who participated in this attack was not large. Thus, it's difficult to say that the guerrillas could manage to take some hostages with them. Let's wait for some more time. The depth of the reservoir where the boat sank is nearly 80ft, water is very cold there and the commandos were carrying bulky rucksacks weighing nearly 10 to 12 kg as well. In such conditions, bodies take time to float."
Andhra Pradesh Police, which has arrived at Balimela to supervise the search-and-rescue operations, does not rule out the possibility of Maoists taking a few hostages.
A senior police official from Andhra Pradesh said: “No possibility is being ruled out at this juncture. There is the possibility that some missing Greyhounds may have been killed. It's also possible that the Maoists may have captured some commandos.”