Two Maoists killed in police encounter in Odisha
Two Maoists, including one with a cash reward on his head, were killed in an encounter with police personnel in a forest of western Odisha’s Bolangir district in the early hours of Sunday.
Police said the encounter with the Maoists began in Dudukamal forests under Belpada block on Saturday night when security forces started a combing operation.
Top Maoist cadre Sanjib and another Maoist were killed in the encounter, said police. An AK-47 and an Insas rifle were recovered from the spot, police said.
The identity of the other Maoist is yet to be ascertained. Both the bodies were brought to Belpada police station.
Police said nearly 10 to 12 Maoists had assembled near the village when the security forces raided the spot. During the encounter, the other rebels managed to escape, police added.
This is the second such reverse for Maoists at the hands of Odisha police this year. In March, police in Narayanpatna block engaged Maoists in a fire exchange during which for women cadre of the rebels were killed.
The number of Maoist-related incidents in Odisha has come down sharply from 72 in 2015 to 16 this year along with the number of casualties among policemen.
Last month, a jawan was killed in a landmine blast in Rayagada district. Three civilian deaths have been reported this year, compared to 26 deaths in 2015s.
A tractor driver and two labourers going on a tractor through a forested stretch of Maoist-affected Nabarangpur district were also last month killed when they fiddled with a tiffin bomb lying around. The tiffin bomb was reportedly planted by Maoists targeting security forces.