Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

At least two Maoists were killed in an encounter with security forces inside a forest near Padhel dam under Kantamal police limits in Boudh district on Thursday. The exchange of fire between the Red Ultras and the security personnel is still continuing at the time of reporting.

After getting intelligence input about the presence of around 40-50 Ultras in the forest, Special Operation Group (SOG) jawans reached the area for a search operation.

On seeing the security personnel, the Maoists opened fire and the security personnel also retaliated with heavy gunshots.

As per reports, two Naxals were killed during the combing operation. Some of the Maoists have retreated from the area during the combing operation. Some Maoist materials like arms and ammunition have also been seized from the spot. The security personnel have launched a search operation in the entire area following the development. Local people have deserted their villages out of fear.

As per sources, the Maoists have become active in the area ahead of the 2024 General Election. It seems that the Maoists want to disrupt the poll process. Hence, it has become a huge challenge for the security personnel to curb the Maoist menace in the area during the election period.

Notably, voting for the upcoming General Elections and Assembly polls will be held in Odisha simultaneously in four phases. As per the announcement by ECI, voters can cast their votes on four dates- May 13, May 20, May 25 and June 1.