Police gunned down nine Maoists in an encounter in Rayagada district of Orissa on Sunday. They said all the bodies were recovered along with nine sophisticated arms including INSAS and SLRs.
Talking to the Hindustan Times, south-western range DIG Soumendra Priyadarshi said: "This is the biggest toll of Maoists in an encounter in Orissa so far. Recovery of sophisticated arms from them proves that they were hardcore cadres of the banned CPI (Maoist)."
Priyadarshi said that the police rushed to Basangamali hill near Kashipur-Kalyanpur road, about 70 km from the Rayagada district headquarter and 500 km southwest of Bhubaneswar, in the wee hours of morning after a tip-off about the presence of about 20 heavily armed Maoists.
In the subsequent exchange of fire, police gunned down the nine Maoists. No casualty was reported from the police side.
In the last two months, the police in Orissa have killed 24 Maoists. Out of them, 16 have been killed in the south-western region districts like Malkangiri, Koraput and Rayagada.
However, some of such killings have become controversial as human rights groups have termed them as fake.
The most controversial 'encounter' has been the killing of two persons in Bargarh district on December 20 last year.
The two persons turned out to be BJP workers and the BJP has demanded a CBI enquiry into the incident.
They were also members of Gandhamardan Yuba Parishad, a civil society body fighting against mining Gandhamardan hill for bauxite by corporate.