Vikash Sharma

Two jawans of the Special Operations Group (SOG) sustained critical injuries after an improvised explosive device (IED), suspected to be planted by Maoists, went off in Kandhamal district on Sunday.

The incident has been reported from Sirla forest under Tumudibandh police limits in the district. Both the injured jawans have been admitted to hospital in critical condition.

Following the blast, a massive combing operation has been launched by the jawans. An exchange of fire between the jawans and Maoists was also underway at the time of filing of this copy. The entire area has been cordoned off by the jawans who have now launched a counter-strike on the rebels, said sources.

Also Read: Maoist violence: High alert sounded in four Odisha districts

Kandhamal SP Suvendu Patra said, “Combing operation was going at around 10 am when the IED blast took place. They (the two jawans) have sustained splinter injuries.”

Patra further informed that the combing operation was continuing for the last two days. “We are suspecting the presence of a large group of Maoists in the area. As the live operation is underway, commandos are also present at the spot. There are no inputs of any casualties from the Maoists side. Usually, teams take precautions during such operations, it may be some old hideout. A clear picture will emerge after the team returns,” said Patra.

According to the senior police official, Maoists always have plans to target civilians and police personnel and the security forces' efforts are on to counter them.

  • Reported by:
  • Trinath Sahoo