Monday, Aug 12, 2002
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By Prafulla Das
Those killed include six jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force and an Orissa State Armed Police driver. All of them died on the spot. The injured security men have been admitted to the Government hospital at Gunupur.
The incident occurred around 10 a.m. when a police party, headed by the Gunupur Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), was on its way to Gothalpadar village where an informant of the Andhra Pradesh police had been killed last night, according to the DGP, N.C. Padhi.
The naxalites started firing after the blast and the police returned the fire. No one was killed in the exchange of fire, Mr. Padhi said. The SDPO, the Circle Inspector and the Officer-in-Charge of the Gunupur police station escaped unhurt.
Top police officials have reached the spot and a combing operation has been launched.
The State Government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 1 lakh to the families of each victim, apart from the various benefits for those killed in action.
Close to A.P. border
Our Srikakulam Staff Reporter writes:
The Orissa village where the blast took place is about 5 km from the Battili police station in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh.
A DSP was leading the police party going by three jeeps and a bus. Two jeeps crossed the point safely and the landmine was triggered when a vehicle carrying 22 policemen was negotiating it.
Going by the magnitude of the operation, the role of a ``military platoon'' in executing it was suspected. The `Gotta' local guerilla squad is also said to be involved in the incident.
The Andhra Pradesh-Orissa border has been deceptively calm for sometime. The People's War had suffered a series of setbacks in Andhra Pradesh even as talks with the State Government were on. It struck in a big way on the Andhra-Orissa Border luring the police contingent with the killing of the informant.
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