Another Maoist killed in gunfight with forces in Odisha

PHULBANI: A Maoist was gunned down in an exchange of fire with security forces at Sirla forest within Tumudibandha police limits, two days after four of them were killed in an encounter in the same area. Kandhamal SP Prateek Singh said acting on information that Maoists had regrouped in the area, a search operation was launched by jawans of Special Operations Group and District Volunteer Force on Monday evening. During the operation, around 10-15 Maoists, with the intention to avenge the deaths of their comrades, opened fire at the security forces.

The security personnel retaliated and in the exchange of fire, a Maoist was killed while the rest managed to escape in the cover of darkness. The body of the slain Naxal, a member of BGN Division, was retrieved by the personnel after the encounter. Besides, two country made weapons, Maoist uniform, a kit bag and literature were recovered from the spot. Search operation is going on to flush out the Maoists from the area, Singh said. Meanwhile, of the four Maoists killed in the encounter on Sunday, three have been identified.

One of them is Sukru of Malkangiri, a State committee member of BGN Division. He was carrying a reward of `20 lakh on his head. The other two are Itesh and Reena from Chhattisgarh, both area committee members of the division. They were carrying a reward of `4 lakh on their head. The identity of the fourth slain woman Maoist is yet to be ascertained. Singh said after the two encounters, the morale of the Naxals has taken a hit.

“They are either planning to retaliate or have left the area. We are conducting combing operations cautiously,” he said, adding top leaders like Nikhil, Indu and others were present at the encounter spot and were planning a big strike on the security forces.


The New Indian Express


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