PHULBANI: An exchange of fire took place between Special Operations Group (SOG) jawans and Maoists near Lankagarh gram panchayat under Belaghar police limits on Thursday. Police said the gunbattle took place while SOG jawans were conducting a raid at a Maoist camp.
The firing revived memories of death of five innocent tribals, including a two-year-old, at Gumudumaha in Kandhamal district in July.
Inspector General (SR) Amitav Thakur said acting on a tip off about the Maoist camp at Lankagarh panchayat, SOG jawans conducted the operation. On seeing the security personnel, around 20-25 Maoists, who were present there, started firing. In retaliation, SOG personnel also fired. The gunbattle continued for about one and a half hours.
The SOG jawans seized explosives, arms and ammunition and old currency notes from the Maoist camp. The operation is continuing and more teams have been sent to the area, Thakur added.
In July, during a combing operation by the SOG jawans near Gumudumaha village, an auto-rickshaw, carrying more than 10 villagers, came under firing. Five villagers died leading to an uproar in the State.
Meanwhile, some Maoist posters, asking people to observe PLGA week from December 2 to 8, were found at Parlimal and Tanla villages of Belpara block in Balangir district. The Maoist group urged the people to join their ranks in large numbers and extend cooperation to the outfit.
According to reports, the posters have been put up by members of Balangir-Bargarh Mahasamunda division protesting various developmental policies of the Centre.