Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Malkangiri: In a major crackdown, two Maoists including a woman cadre were gunned down during an exchange of fire with the Special Operations Group (SOG) and District Voluntary Force (DVF) personnel at ‘Swabhiman Anchal’ in the district on Sunday.

A huge cache of explosives and Maoist articles were seized by the security personnel from the spot.

According to reports, the incident took place during a joint operation by the SOG and DVF jawans in the area. Acting on a tip-off the security personnel launched a raid in the area. The extremists opened fire at the security forces, following which the jawans retaliated. Two Red ultras were neutralised during the gunfight.

According to sources, further search and combing operation have been intensified in the area following the incident.

Meanwhile, Odisha Police urged the Maoists to surrender.

“We are committed to make the area free from the Maoists. We urge them to come out and surrender before the police. We also assure full protection and good treatment,” said Director General of Police (DGP) Abhay.

Earlier on October 28, a huge cache of arms and ammunition had been seized after an exchange of fire that took place between security forces and Maoists at Bhimaram Reserve forest of Swabhiman Anchal in the district. The anti-Naxal operation had been launched by the SOG and DVF teams of Odisha Police and BSF teams of Andhra Pradesh Police.

In another incident on September 11, a woman Maoist cadre was killed and a Special Operations Group (SOG) Jawan injured in an exchange of fire in a forest near Badakhama in Kandhamal district. The deceased was a member of Kalahandi Kandhamal Boudh Nayagarh (KKBN) division of outlawed CPI (Maoist) organisation.

(Edited by Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)