September 11, 2020 12:46:59 am
Two Special Operations Group (SOG) commandos were killed in a Maoist encounter in Kalahandi, along the Kandhamal border, Kalahandi police said on Thursday.
Five Maoists, including a woman, were also neutralised in the gun fight that took place in Bhandarangu Sirki forest area, police added.
While four bodies were found from the forest area after the gunfight, the fifth body was recovered during combing operations, Batula Gangadhar, SP Kalahandi, said. The commandos, identified as Sudhir Tudu (28) and Debasis Sethy (27), succumbed to bullet injuries in the hospital.
Based on intelligence inputs, two composite teams of SOG and the Kalahandi District Voluntary Force (DVF) initiated an operation in the forest area Wednesday, during which they were subjected to heavy firing from the other end, police said. The forces retaliated and the exchange of fire lasted for about 30 minutes.
Six weapons, including SRL rifles, barrel rifles and Maoist literature, were recovered from the spot. Further combing operations are underway.
This is the third such anti-Maoist operation in the same forest area since July. Earlier on July 5, five Maoists, including two women, were gunned down by the security forces while two others were gunned down on July 23.
Kalahandi is among the 10 districts in the state with Maoist presence, including Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpura, Rayagada, Sundergarh, Kandhamal, Bargarh, Nuapada and Bolangir.
In July, the state government had approved the police’s proposal to remove five districts from the purview of the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme meant for capacity building in Left Wing Extremist (LWE)-hit places. These five districts have not reported any Maoist-related violence in the last two years.
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