Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Malkangiri: A hardcore Maoist was shot dead during an exchange of fire with the security forces In Kutur forest area near Malkangiri border under Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh on Sunday.

The top Maoist commander has been identified as Ranu. The Mao commander was functioning as the action team commander of the area committee. The top red rebel was carrying a cash reward of Rs 8 lakh on his head.

The security personnel also seized a pistol and huge cache of ammunitions from the Mao spot during the raid.

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. The top Maoist leader was neutralised during the gunfight. However other Maoists managed to escape.

Earlier on December 13 last year, two Maoists including a woman cadre had been gunned down during an exchange of fire with the Special Operations Group (SOG) and District Voluntary Force (DVF) personnel at ‘SwabhimanAnchal’ in the district.

In another similar incident on December 11, one woman cadre Maoist was shot dead in an exchange of fire between Left-Wing Extremists (LWE) and the security forces in Phulbani district. Firearms and four rounds of bullets and other Maoists articles had also been recovered from the spot.

(Edited by Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)