A cadre Maoist was gunned down during a joint combing operation by SOJ Jawans and Odisha Police at Padampur in the district on Friday.
The security personnel also seized a cache of arms and ammunitions including a AK-47 rifle from Jhanj Reserve Forest near Bhanjagunda area, informed Director General of Police (DGP) Abhay. However, the identity of the ultra is yet to be ascertained.
According to reports, a group of left wing extremists spotted the security forces during the combing operation and opened fire on them. The latter retaliated with full force and in the process, a cadre in uniform was killed.
However, the rest of the Maoists managed to escape. An AK-47 rifle, three AK-47 magazines, ammunitions and other explosives have been recovered from the spot. The combing operation is still in progress.
"As senior cadre of Maoists are generally given AK-47 rifles to operate, we assume that the encountered ultra could be a senior cadre. Effort is on to establish his identity," said Abhay.
"I once again urge all the Maoists to shun violence and return to the main stream. I appeal them to join various rehabilitation schemes of the State government," he added.
(Edited by Suryakant Jena)