ROURKELA: Odisha police gunned down two suspected cadres of Jharkhand’s dreaded criminal outfit People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) in a forest near Pital under Bisra police limits in Sundargarh district on Thursday.
According to police, a PLFI camp atop the hill, about 45 kilometres from Rourkela and close to Jharkhand border, was dismantled. A huge cache of arms and weapons was recovered from the spot.
The recovery of firearms includes a modified AK 47 rifle with loaded magazine, one .303 rifle, seven Single Barrel Breach Loading (SBBL) rifles, one country made pistol, about 190 live ammunition including eight magazines of other
weapons and some empty cartridges. Apart from weapons and ammunition, 25 mobile phones, 15 pairs of shoes, clothes, camp materials including food, medicines and PLFI literatures were also seized.
Inspector general (IG) of police (Western Range) RK Sharma and Rourkela superintendent of police Anirudh Singh told media persons that acting
on a tip-off about the movement of 12 heavily armed PLFI men, the personnel of District Voluntary Force (DVF) and local police were mobilised to sensitise the area.
“But finding the police team approaching them, the PLFI cadres resorted to firing in which two cops were injured. Police retaliated in self-defence and the intermittent firing lasted for about 30 minutes. Most of the PLFI cadres managed to
flee. Two unidentified bodies of PLFI cadres were found during search operation post-gunfire,” Sharma said adding that the combing operations are underway along Odisha-Jharkhand border.
The police suspect that the PLFI cadres were camping there for extortion from rural businessmen and contractors. They also indicated the possibility of the cadres trying to terrorise candidates in the rural elections to force them to dole out money.
On September 3, last year, Rourkela police had gunned down two PLFI cadres Shankar Munda and Bhima Munda under similar circumstances within Gurundia police limits. A PLFI camp was dismantled and two carbines, two magazines, other ammunition, Rs 50,000 cash and mobiles phones were also seized.