Three Maoists, including a senior commander of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), were killed in a police encounter on Saturday in Malkangiri district of Odisha.
They were killed when a group of the District Voluntary Force of Malkangiri police came across a Maoist camp in Bhejaguda forest area during a combing operation.
“One of the killed Maoists is Sunadhar, a divisional committee member of Darbha division of CPI (Maoist), which is active in Chhattisgarh and Malkangiri,” Malkangiri district superintendent of police Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said.
Sunadhar, who carried a reward of `5 lakh on his head, was said to be involved in the attack on a Congress party convoy in Chhattisgarh in May 2013 in which more than 30 partymen, including Bastar strongman Mahendra Karma, were killed.
Sunadhar was allegedly involved in the killing of 11 CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh in 2014.
One of CPI (M)’s most powerful committees, AndhraOdisha Border Special Zonal Committee, has its base in Malkangiri.
Maoists have lost their grounds in most of other districts of Odisha, but have kept their presence felt in Malkangiri.
From 2012, the state government devised a strategy to control the Maoists and developed close coordination with central forces like CRPF and BSF as well as police forces of Chhatisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. Since then, Maoist activities have decreased. On August 1, security personnel gunned down three Maoists.
On August 26, the Maoists retaliated by killing three BSF personnel. On September 1, hardcore Maoist Mesha Muschhaki, carrying `1 lakh reward, surrendered before Malkangiri police along with 126 members of the people’s militia.