The Odisha police scored a major success in their anti-Naxal operations when four CPI (Maoist) cadres were gunned down in Kandhamal district on Sunday.
On a tip-off, personnel of the Special Operation Group (SOG), an anti-Naxal force, and the District Voluntary Force (DVF), a special constabulary unit of the State police, rushed to a forest area of the Sirla gram panchayat under the Tumudibandh police limits of Kandhamal early on Sunday.
“There was an exchange of fire between Maoists and SOG and DVF near Tumudibandh. The security forces were fired upon and they fired back in self defence. There were four casualties on Maoist side. Some of them were injured. Combing operations were going on in the area,” said Director-General of Police Abhay.
The exchange of fire continued for hours before the Maoists fled the spot with their injured cadres. Among the four deceased, who belonged to Bansadhara-Ghumusura-Nagabali (BGN), two were women cadres.
One of the deceased was suspected to be the state committee member and the identity of slain Maoists was being ascertained, said Mr. Abhay.
According to Amitabh Thakur, Inspector-General of Police (Operation), the security forces received intelligence input that the Maoist cadres were planning to perpetrate violence.
The police party recovered six sophisticated weapons from the spot along with improvised explosive devices. Among those seized include three self-loading rifles, one INSAS rifle and several rounds of magazines.
Mr. Abhay, Mr. Thakur and Kandhamal Superintendent of Police Prateek Singh met at Phulbani following the big success by the security forces.
“We appeal to all Maoists operating in Odisha to surrender and join the national mainstream. The Odisha government has a very generous surrender and rehabilitation policy for them,” said the DGP.
On Thursday last, the security forces busted a Maoist camp near Samarbandh village under the Phiringia block in Kandhamal. They had seized 15 kg of explosives, 28 detonators, tiffin boxes, shoes, bags and Maoist literature.
Sunday’s encounter was a major success for the security forces against Maoists that came after August last year when Rakesh Sodhi, platoon leader of the Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of Maoists, who carried a bounty of ₹8 lakh, was killed in Malkangiri district.