BHUBANESWAR: Stepping up their operation against Maoists, security forces gunned down six cadres of Red rebels in separate encounters on Sunday. While a divisional committee member carrying a reward of Rs 5 lakh and an area committee member carrying a reward of Rs 4 lakh of were killed in Belpara of Balangir district, four Maoist cadres were found dead after an encounter in Sudrukumpa of Kandhamal district.
On getting information about the presence of Left-wing extremists, Odisha Police launched a joint operation with a unit of District Voluntary Force (DVF) and a unit of Special Operation Group (SOG) in the forest under Belpara police limits.
When the team led by Balangir SP K Siva Subramani was proceeding in the forest, they sighted a group of 8 to 10 ultras clad in olive green uniform. The police confronted the ultras and warned them against indulging in unlawful activities. But, the Maoists started indiscriminate firing.
The security forces retaliated and after a heavy exchange of fire, the Maoists disappeared into the forest taking advantage of the darkness. The security forces then conducted a combing operation in the area and found bodies of two ultras, who were later identified as divisional committee member Sanjeev and area committee member Rakesh. Both belonged to Chhattisgarh.
“Two CPI (Maoist) members were killed in an encounter with police. The security forces recovered one AK-47, two magazines and three rounds of live ammunition, and one INSAS rifle with two magazines and 24 rounds of live ammunition,” Odisha DGP Dr RP Sharma said.
The DGP also said they have prepared an action plan to curb Naxal activities in the cut-off areas of Malkangiri district. “We are attempting to make the State free from Left wing extremism,” he said.According to sources, Bolangir, Bargarh and Mahasamund (BBM) division of the CPI (Maoist) is operating along Odisha-Chhattisgarh border. The division’s secretary is Alvala Chandrahas and they are operating with two platoons of Bargarh and Balangir squads.
Meanwhile, acting on a tip-off about movement of Maoist cadres in Sudrukumpa of Kandhamal district, two Special Operation Group (SOG) teams led by Kandhamal SP Prateek Singh launched an operation. When the SOG teams were approaching the Red ultras, the latter opened fire. Though the police told them to surrender, they continued firing.
The security forces retaliated and four ultras were killed in the exchange of fire. Later, bodies of the ultras along with four weapons were found in the area. “The Maoist cadres of Kandhamal, Boudh and Nayagarh divisions frequently visit the area and on getting information, the security forces confronted the ultras,” police said.