Bhubaneswar: As many as 14 Maoists from Odisha among 160 ultras across the country have died in encounter with security forces in the last one year.
A press release issued by the Maoist Central Committee (MCC) also claimed that many top leaders of the outlawed outfit also fell prey to Covid-19,
It was mentioned in the press note that 13 top leaders including Haribhushan died of Covid-19. Haribhushan who was a leader of the Central Committee carried Rs 40 lakh cash reward on head.
A maximum of 101 naxals belonging to Dandakaranya Division died in gun battle with security forces, the release read.
Similarly, 11 rebels were killed during operations on Andhra-Odisha border, 14 in Telengana, 11 in Bihar-Jharkhand and eight in MMC (Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Confluence zone). One cadre was killed in West Ghat in last one year.
The release further stated that 30 women cadres were among the 160 slain extremists who lost life during operations and pandemic.
“The Maoists usually turn down police claims on casualties. They only admit the death of their cadres whose bodies are captured by police. But this time, they have openly admitted that over 100 of their cadres have died. It is a huge setback for the red outfit. Such a huge number of casualties will down their morale,” said Sanjeev Marik, Former Odisha DGP.