Security personnel on Sunday destroyed a Maoist camp, seized a huge cache of firearms and arrested an ultra during a joint raid in the dense forest of Odisha's Ganjam district.
Kandra Dalabehera alias Paster, identified as the self-styled area commander of the Maoist group and allegedly involved in several incidents, was apprehended from the jungle during anti-Maoist "Hot" operation, SP (Ganjam) Ashish Kumar Singh said.
The anti-Maoist operation was carried out jointly by the Special Operation Group (SOG), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Ganjam district voluntary force (DVF) and Gajapati police, Singh said.
It was launched in the triangular area of Badagada, Sheragada and Mohana police stations from the mid-night of Thursday and ended this morning, he said.
During the raids, the personnel destroyed a camp of Sabyasachi Panda's Odisha Maobadi Party (OMP)at Rechagurha dense forest area under Badagada police station limit, Singh said.
Paster, a close aid of Panda was allegedly involved in at least 11 Maoist-related cases in Ganjam and Gajapati districts of the state. The cases pending against him in Kandhamal district was under verification, police said.
He was associated with the Maoist group since 2009 and became the 'area commander', they added.
Security forces later raided a Maoist camp based on Paster's information, police said, adding that some ultras including Panda were suspected to have escaped from the spot. Police believed at least 10-12 members were in camp before it was busted.
At least seven rifles, including one each 7.62 MM Self Loading Rifle (SLR) and .303 rifle, over 100 live ammunition, magazine pouches, five pairs of dresses, Maoist literature and books, cooking utensils, batteries, medicines, grocery items and several other items were seized from the destroyed camp, police said.
With Paster, Ganjam police have arrested at least five persons considered as the close aids of Panda in the last ten days and seized several arms and ammunitions.
K Anita alias Kaloari, head of the women's wing of the group and Bikram Mallick, the head of the over ground worker were arrested on April 4 from Talapatnam jungle, near Badagada, while two other Maoists-Bubu Mohapatra and Agni Polai were arrested on April 10 near Badagada.
Besides cash of Rs 3.99 lakh, several arms and ammunition, explosive materials and Maoist literature were seized from Anita and Bikram. Police also seized a bagful of medicines from Bubu and Agrni, they said.