Orissa assembly turns unruly over Maoist attack

February 19th, 2008 - 4:21 pm ICT by admin  

Bhubaneswar, Feb 19 (IANS) The Orissa assembly Tuesday witnessed unruly scenes and adjourned thrice after members of ruling and opposition parties clashed over the Maoist violence in the state. Hundreds of armed Maoist guerrillas attacked five police posts, a training centre and an armoury in Nayagarh district Friday night and looted hundreds of police rifles and boxes of ammunition after killing 14 policemen.

Soon after the house began at 10 a.m. Tuesday, the members of the opposition Congress party demanded the suspension of question hour and a special discussion on the Maoist attack describing the incident as a big government failure, an official of the assembly told IANS.

An unruly scene was created when members of ruling Biju Janta Dal (BJD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition described the demand by the Congress as unjustified saying it’s not the right time to discuss the issue when the government is engaged in anti-Maoist operation.

But the opposition members refused to allow the house to resume its business. The ruling and opposition members clashed and created an unruly scene in the house forcing Speaker Maheswar Mohanty to adjourn the house for some time, the official said.

Deputy Speaker Prahallad Dora tried to run the house at 11 a.m. but was again forced to adjourn after a few minutes as the uproar continued. The house was subsequently adjourned till 3 p.m., the official added.

In the meantime more than a thousand security personnel continued their hunt for the Maoists in forests of Nayagarh and four neighbouring districts where the rebels are suspected to have holed up following the Friday attacks.

A top state police official said the combing operation was in full swing although no Maoist was spotted Monday and Tuesday.

The security forces during their combing operation in the past three days have recovered more than 100 rifles and half a truckload of the ammunition the Maoists looted during the attacks from the forests in neighbouring Ganjam district.

Home Secretary Tushar Kanti Mishra Sunday told reporters that at least 20 rebels and three security personnel had been killed in the battles between late Saturday and Sunday.

“The people living in the forests said that they had seen about 20 bodies of the Maoists in their localities, but we believe it could be much more,” he said.

The state government Monday handed over the bodies of the policemen killed by Maoists to their families after offering floral tribute and gun salutes, he said.

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