Patnaik calls Chhattisgarh attack 'cowardly', Odisha to intensify ops against Maoists

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Bhubaneswar, Apr 4 (PTI) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday termed the killing of 22 security personnel in a Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh as 'cowardly', while Director General of Police (DGP) Abhay vowed to intensify operations against the red rebels in the eastern state.

The chief minister, in a statement, also expressed his condolences to the families of the fallen jawans and wished speedy recovery of the injured soldiers.

The DGP, during a visit to Sunabeda in Koraput district, condemned the Maoist attack and said, 'Odisha Police will intensify anti-Maoist operations in collaboration with CRPF in areas of the state where LWE (Left Wing Extremism) activities are high.' 'Though Maoist activities in Odisha have come down, we are committed to wipe out the insurgency unitedly,' he added.

After his tour of Maoist-affected districts of Koraput, Malkangiri and Kandhamal, Abhay reviewed the LWE situation with senior officers of Odisha Police and other security agencies.

OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik prayed for peace to the departed souls.

'My deepest respects to the 22 security personnel who sacrificed their lives while fighting Maoist extremists in Bijapur of C'garh. May the departed souls of our brave soldiers rest in peace! I pray to Lord Jagannath for the safety & well-being of the missing soldiers,' he tweeted.

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the sacrifices of the jawans won't go in vain.

'Salute our brave security personnel who laid down their lives in an operation against the Maoists in Chhattisgarh. Their commitment and sacrifice for the country will not go in vain. My thoughts are with the families of our jawans. India will never bow down to forces of terror,' Pradhan said in a Twitter post. PTI AAM ACD ACD