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Five Maoists killed in encounter in Odisha’s Malkangiri

Five Maoists, including a woman, were gunned down on Monday by police in a forested area of Odisha’s Malkangiri district bordering Andhra Pradesh, officials said, in one of the heaviest casualty tolls suffered by the insurgents this year.

india Updated: Nov 05, 2018 12:57 IST
Debabrata Mohanty and Gali Nagaraja
Debabrata Mohanty and Gali Nagaraja
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar/Vijayawada
Maoist,encounter,Malkangiri
Police said the gun battle between the commandos of the special operations group (SOG) and Maoists took place during a combing operation in the Bejingwada forest under Kalimela police limits early on Monday.(AP/File Picture)

Five Maoists, including two women, were gunned down on Monday by police in a forested area of Odisha’s Malkangiri district bordering Andhra Pradesh, officials said, in one of the heaviest casualty tolls suffered by the insurgents in the last three years.

Additional director general of police (anti-Maoist operations) RP Koche said the gun battle between the commandos of the special operations group (SOG) and Maoists took place during a combing operation in the Bejingwada forest under Kalimela police limits early on Monday.

“Two teams of the special operation group were conducting a combing operation in Kalimela area of the district since Sunday when they saw around 15 Maoist cadres. When the Maoists opened fire at the SOG jawans they fired back,” said Koche.

“Five cadres of Ranadeb’s group, who held the ranks of an area committee member (ACM), were killed in the gunfight. The security personnel have also seized four weapons, including two INSAS rifles, one SLR, one 303 rifle and a hand grenade, from the spot,” he said.

The leader of the Kalimela Dalam Division of CPI(Maoist) Ranadeb, also known as Deba Madhi and Arjun, was reported to have escaped from the encounter site with bullet wounds, a senior police officer from Odisha said. He had survived an encounter in the past with bullet injuries.

The exchange of fire between the security personnel and Maoists is still on.

Odisha’s director general of police RP Sharma said the encounter by the SOG was one of the best operations in the state. The identity of the deceased Maoists will be known after a detailed investigation, Sharma said.

“This is the biggest operation against Maoists in Odisha in the past three years,” Sharma added.

Seven Maoists — including two top cadres — were killed in two separate encounters in Kandhamal and Bolangir districts in May this year.

First Published: Nov 05, 2018 12:44 IST