Two women Maoists were killed during an exchange of fire with the security forces in Gandhamardan Hills area of Odisha's Bolangir district on Thursday, a senior police officer said.

Briefing media persons about the encounter, the Odisha DGP Sunil Bansal said: "On the basis of a very specific intelligence input about the presence of Maoists in Bolangir and Bargarh area, we had launched an operation on Wednesday midnight."

The security personnel saw the movement of five Maoists in the area at about 10.30 a.m. on Thursday morning.

Then, there was an exchange of fire to chase them.

In the exchange of fire that lasted for about half an hour, two of the Maoists were neutralised by the security forces.

Later, during the search of the area, bodies of two female Maoists in uniform and two INSAS rifles were recovered, Bansal said.

Both the deceased Maoists have been identified. They were from Chhattisgarh, and belong to Bolangir-Bargarh-Mahasamud (BBM) Maoist Division, he said.

Both the Naxals neutralised on Thursday were carrying a reward of Rs 4 lakh each on their head, he added.

"The remaining three Maoists were able to escape from the place. Our teams, who have been there, intensified the anti-Maoist operation. We remain hopeful that we will be able to capture them or neutralise them depending on the circumstances," said the DGP.

He said that the Odisha Police has strong commitment towards anti-Maoist policy and in accordance with the policy, they have been conducting anti-Maoist operations in the Maoist areas.

"We are living in a democratic country, where there is a place for every kind of opinion. However, there is no place for violence as it does not lead us to any conclusion," he said.

The DGP also urged the Maoists to shun violence and join the mainstream.