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BHUBANESWAR: A three-year lull in Maoist-engineered violence in Odisha’s Nuapada district ended on Tuesday with an ambush that left three CRPF commandos, two of them officers, dead and an unspecified number of personnel injured.
The assailants had been lying in wait deep inside the Patdhara forest reserve when the CRPF team apparently walked into the trap.
Assistant sub-inspectors Sishupal Singh and Shivpal from UP and Haryana respectively were killed along with constable Dharmendra Kumar Singh, who was from Bihar.
The government announced Rs 20 lakh each in ex gratia to the slain CRPF personnel’s families.
The CRPF team came under fire from the Maoists at a location in the vicinity of Sunabeda wildlife sanctuary and between two CRPF camps at Bhainsadani and Patdhara, IGP (operations) Amitav Thakur said.
Reinforcements from the special operations group and the CRPF’s commando unit have been requisitioned to flush out the Maoists behind the ambush, a police statement said.
The operation is being overseen by Nuapada SP Pratyush Diwakar and senior CRPF officers. Until Tuesday, Nuapada seemed to have put its Maoist past behind, with no disruption reported during either the 2019 assembly and parliamentary elections or the recent pan- chayat and urban elections.
In May 2019, a local Maoist functionary named Dharua surrendered before the police in Nuapada district after cadres from Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh allegedly harassed him. With his surrender, the police claimed there was no local Maoist cadre left in the Mainpur-Nuapada division of the CPI (Maoist). Dharua had a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head till his surrender.
During the 2012 panchayat elections, 18 polling parties assigned to conduct the third phase of polls in Nuapada district were forced to return in the face of threats from Maoists.

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