MALKANGIRI: More security forces joined the ongoing anti-Maoist operation in the cut-off region in Malkangiri, adjoining Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday.
The operation is aimed at nabbing top Maoist leader and Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee Chief Ramkrishna (RK) besides other top leaders who are believed to have assembled in the area. The operation was jointly launched by Special Operation Group (SOG), Border Security Force (BSF) and Greyhounds from Andhra Pradesh last week.
Two helicopters have also been provided by the Central Government to be used in the operation. Around 30 BSF personnel and SOG jawans were airlifted to Jodamba on Tuesday morning and taken to their destinations by road, said an official.
The Odisha police had received specific information that top Maoist cadres led by RK were camping in Panasaput and Janvae in Chitrakonda. Last week police forces of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and BSF personnel launched a joint operation at those places in which a Maoist camp was destroyed and seven Maoists were reportedly gunned down while others fled.
Earlier, SP Mitrabhanu Mahapatra had informed that Maoist literature, 500 bags of rice and grenades had been recovered from the encounter site. Two suspected militia have been detained by police at Chitrakonda while they were crossing the river. One of them has received bullet injury and investigation is on.
Earlier on Saturday, four Maoists including three women cadres, surrendered before the police here. One of the women cadres, Bhieme Padiami alias Reeta, an area committee member, was carrying a cash award of `four lakh on her head. The rest carried a reward of `one lakh each.
The cut-off area, separated from mainland Odisha for last five decades due to Balimela reservoir, has been a hotbed of Maoist activities. As the area is closer to Andhra Pradesh, Maoists from the neighbouring State have been active there.