Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

At least three members of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) including two women cadres were killed in an exchange of fire between ultras and the security forces at Tulasi forest range area under Mathili police limits in Malkangiri district on Tuesday.

Acting on intelligence inputs about the presence of the Maoists in the area, a joint team of a special Operation Group (SOG) from Odisha Police and Malkangiri District Voluntary Force (DVF) launched a combing operation in the area in the wee hours, informed DGP Abhay while briefing the media.

“During the operation, the extremists, hiding in the forest, opened fire at the security forces. Subsequently, the jawans retaliated. Three Maoists sustained bullet injuries and succumbed to it at the spot,” said Abhay.

“So far we have recovered three bodies from the spot. More ultras are expected to have been died or injured in the gunfight,” he added.

As per reports, two guns have also seized from the spot of the encounter.

Combing and search operations by the security forces were underway in the forest till the last report came in.

Earlier last year, as many as 16 members of the banned CPI (Maoist) outfit had been killed in gun-battles with security forces in Odisha. Seven civilians and two policemen had also lost their lives in the violence.

(Edited by Ramakanta Biswas)