About 700 Moaists active in Orissa: Naveen

Bhubaneswar: An estimated 700 Maoists were active in 19 districts of Orissa and the state government has begun the process of identifying them, Chief Minsiter Naveen Patnaik said on Monday.

The 700 included Maoists from other states, he told the assembly in reply to a question.

The identification of Maoists was a time consuming process as the members of the banned outfits often take fake names. The state police along with central para-military forces deployed in different parts of Orissa were engaged in raids, frisking and other activities to identify them, Patnaik said.

He rejected allegations of killings during encounters and arrest of innocent tribals.

Replying to another question, Patnaik said as many as 81 Maoists have surrended before the police during the last five years.