At least six Maoists were gunned down in an early morning encounter with Rayagada police and Special Operation Group (SOG) at Turei Ghati under Doraguda police limits on Friday.
The security forces have recovered bodies of three Maoists from the hilltop where the rebels had set up a training camp.
Another three bodies were reported to have been taken away by the Maoists retreating from the spot.
A massive combing operation was carried out in the area where arms, ammunition, Maoist literature and logistic materials were recovered.
Led by Rayagada SP Rajesh Pandit, a joint team of District Voluntary Force (DVF) and SOG was carrying out an operation at Turei Ghati. The Rayagada police had information about the camp operating at the hill top which is a bauxite mines area. At about 5 am on Friday, the team combed the hill and spotted at least three to four sentries.
When the rebels were asked to give themselves up, they opened fire prompting the security forces to fire in retaliation. The exchange of fire continued for close to an hour during which the Maoists also blasted a landmine.
‘’We recovered bodies of three cadre members while more casualties have taken place as Maoists were seen carrying their fellow members. The whole area was combed afterwards,” Pandit said. Four firearms, live ammunition and other materials used for camping were found.
The hilltop where the encounter took place was a plain area of the size of a football ground.
About 15 cadre members were present at the camp though the whole group was that of a platoon comprising 30 members.
Most of them were Chhattisgarh cadres as they spoke in Hindi. Posterswritten in Hindi were also found.
Of the three bodies recovered, one was identified as Mohan, a senior cadre of the Kashipur Area Committee, a newly formed outfit. Mohan, sources said, was a trainer. Identity of others is being ascertained.
The Rayagada police had intelligence inputs about Maoist activity in Doraguda which is a mining and industrial belt.
The Red rebels were reportedly conducting propaganda and village meetings in the region to induct youths.