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39 Maoist ultras, 23 civilians killed in 2016

Bhubaneswar: As many as 39 Maoist ultras were neutralised while the red rebels killed 23 civilians and three security personnel in 2016, a report of the home department standing committee said.

The standing committee chairman Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik presented the report in the Assembly today.

“In anti-Left Wing Extremism (LWE) front, as many as 39 LWE cadres were neutralised, 35 were arrested and 31 had surrendered in the state during the year 2016,” the committee said in its report.

Noting that a total number of 68 LWE related incidents were reported in the state in 2016, the report said 33 incidents were related to exchange of fire between security forces and the Maoists.

“Twenty three civilians and three security personnel had lost their lives during the year 2016,” it said adding that a large number of villagers including militia supporters and sympathisers from Kalimela, Padia and Mathili areas of Malkangiri district had distanced themselves from the Maoists.

“This signals a progressive turn around in the LWE situation in the state. The government had been focusing on both security and developmental measures to effectively counter LWE menace,” the report said adding that recruitment of cadres by CPI(Maoist) and its mass support base declined.

The LWE situation remained challenging in parts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Rayagada, Bolangir, Bargarh, Boudh, Angul and Nayagarh districts, the report said.

However, in seven other districts, rebel activities were significantly controlled while there had been no underground LWE activity in Gajapati, Jajpur, Dhenkanal and Sonepur districts, it said.