At least four Maoists were killed in an encounter with policemen of District Voluntary Force in Odisha’s Kandhamal district early on Sunday morning.
Inspector General of Police (anti-Maoist operations) Amitabh Thakur said that based on intelligence inputs, a team of Special Operation Group (SOG) and District Voluntary Force policemen of Kandhamal district went on a combing operation at Sirla forest near Tumudibandh area of Kandhamal district on Sunday morning. In the encounter that ensued, four Maoists were killed and huge cache of weapons were seized.
Officials said the combing operation is still on.
Officials said that the Maoists who were killed were members of the Bansdhara-Ghumusur-Nagabali group that is part of Kalahandi-Kandhamal-Boudh- Nayagarh (KKBN) division of the CPI(Maoist). During the Lok Sabha elections last year, members of the KKBN division had torched two vehicles carrying polling materials, including Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
For the last six months, Maoists are on the backfoot in Andhra-Odisha border areas in Koraput and Malkangiri districts after building of a bridge that connects the Swabhiman Anchal (the area qhich used to be cut-off from the mainland and acted as safe havens for the Maoists) to the mainland of Malkangiri. As their influence wanes on southern Odisha borders, they are trying to intensify their activities on Ganjam-Kandhamal-Kalahandi borders.
On Thursday, security forces had busted a Maoist camp inside a forest in Kandhamal district and seized explosives and other materials from there. The SOG personnel seized over 15 kilogram of explosives, 28 detonators and tiffin carriers meant to be used as Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) from the camp located near Samarbandh village under Phiringia police station area.
Other articles such as bags, shoes, documents and Maoist literature were also found in the camp. The Maoists, however, had fled from the camp before the security personnel could reach there.
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