Naveen decries ambulance attack as ghastly act by Maoists

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday dubbed the Maoist attack on an ambulance in Orissa`s Kandhamal district, which led to the death of five persons as a "sign of weakness".

Last Updated: Nov 30, 2010, 23:45 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: Orissa Chief Minister Naveen
Patnaik on Tuesday dubbed the Maoist attack on an ambulance in
Orissa`s Kandhamal district, which led to the death of five
persons as a "sign of weakness".

"The blowing up of an ambulance and subsequent killing
of five persons, including a three-year child, is a ghastly
act which indicates the inhuman level the Maoists can stoop
to," Patnaik said in the Assembly, while making a statement on
the demand for supplementary grants of home and general
administration departments.
Expressing concern over the "very disturbing trend of
attacks on civilians by Naxalites in present day," Patnaik
said, "this is highly condemnable, but is a sign of weakness."

Patnaik yesterday described the attack as brutal and
promised stringent action against those involved.

Claiming that anti-Naxalite operations have intensified
in the affected areas, the chief minister said security forces
have successfully raided and busted Maoist camps and hideouts
and seized large quantities of arms and explosives.

"Due to sustained police action, maoist activities in
Bansadhara, Ghumsur, Kalinga Nagar and
Sambalpur-Deogarh-Sundargarh divisions have been contained,"
he said.

Listing the gains in anti-Maoist operations in recent
times, he said as many as 376 Maoists have been arrested, 28
died in operation and 45 surrendered since 2009 while the
death of Poteleru Prakash alias Jeeban, an Andhra Pradesh
State Committee member and second-in-command of central
regional command can certainly be touted as one of the
significant achievements.
Though the chief minister termed the maoist menace as
a "cause of concern", he claimed Maoist-related incidents were
lesser in number in Orissa in comparision with neighbouring
states.

Unhappy over Patnaik`s remark, both Congress and BJP
MLAs staged a walkout accusing the state of failing to contain
the "red terror".

"When ministers remove red beacon atop their vehicles
out of fear during visit to Maoist-hit area, how can this
government provide security to the people and claim success,"
wondered Congress member Anup Sai.

PTI