ROURKELA: THE encounter killing of a member of the dreaded Jharkhand-based outfit People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) and arrest of two others in Simdega of the neighbouring State on Saturday has come as a relief for the PLFI-infested Sundargarh district in Odisha.
The slain PLFI cadre, 20-year-old Luthar Dang alias Pandu, belonged to Raiboga in Sundargarh. The arrested members, Prafulla Kispotta and Pramod Lakra, both in their twenties, are from Lefripara in the district.
Jharkhand police informed that Simdega SP Sanjeev Kumar was tipped off about the movement of a PLFI group led by area commander Bijay Dang in Baunsjor of Theteitangar. A team of Jharkhand police and CRPF personnel was mobilised and the encounter took place early on Saturday at Siharjor hill forest, about 15 km from Sundargarh border. While Pandu was killed, one of the arrested youths received gunshot injury on his hand. The rest of the PLFI members fled the scene.
The Simdega SP told this paper on Sunday that as per preliminary information, the slain PLFI cadre was wanted in a murder case in Sundargarh and criminal antecedents of the arrested duo are being verified. He said they were active in Simdega and Gumla districts of Jharkhand and Sundargarh.
The seizures from the PLFI men included two double barrel guns, one carbine, one country-made pistol, some ammunition of AK 47, 18 live bullets of different calibres, one wireless set and backpacks containing items of daily use.
Earlier on September 24 last year, Jharkhand’s Simdega police had dealt a major blow to PLFI by killing three hardcore operatives at Kulalatopa forest within Bano police limits leading to seizures of a modified AK47, LMG besides a carbine and ammunition.
Between September and November last year, Sundargarh police had also significantly dismantled the extortion network of PLFI by arresting 20 operatives, including a retired BSF personnel and a Panchayat Samiti member with seizures of arms and ammunition.