BHAWANIPATNA/BHUBANESWAR:A Woman Maoist was killed in a gunbattle between the Special Operation Group (SOG) and the Maoists in Kalahandi district on Thursday evening.
Led by Kalahandi SP Brijesh Rai, the SOG team and District Police were combing the Niyamgiri forests when the incident occurred. The team had intelligence input on movement of Banshadhara-Ghumsar-Nagavali Division of CPI (Maoist) members under Bijepur police limits in Lanjigarh block. During the exchange of fire, an unidentified woman Maoist was killed.
The security forces seized one INSAS, one SLR and two country-made rifles. Other logistic materials were also recovered from the spot. This is the fifth Maoist casualty this year in Kalahandi. However, continuous showers and dusk seemed to have slowed down the operation which was underway till reports last came in. The Bansadhara-Ghumsar-Nagavali Division is led by Modem Balakrishna and Nikhil but it was not known if they were present when the exchange of fire took place. The division has its stronghold in south of Kalahandi and adjoining Rayagada regions.
The State police, which has achieved considerable success in containing Maoist menace in southern and northern Odisha pockets, has found Kalahandi-Rayagada axis of the Left Wing Extremists to be a challenge.
While movements of Maoists have been witnessed in 10 blocks of Kalahandi, the situation is acute in tribal pockets of Thuamul Rampur and Lanjigarh blocks.
In fact, the Unified Command meeting here on Thursday also suggested that more units of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) be mobilised to Kalahandi from Keonjhar where the Maoist base has weakened considerably. Once the building infrastructure for the security forces are completed by the Odisha Police Housing and Welfare Corporation, the mobilisation could start.