14 Maoists killed in encounter in Malkangiri

Malkangiri: At least 14 Maoists, including a woman, were killed in a fierce encounter with security forces in a forest in Malkangiri district today.
 
The area is close to Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh and the group that camped in the forest is suspected to have been involved in the May 25 attack by Maoists on a convoy of Congress leaders in that state.
 
DIG of Police Devdutt Singh said a joint team of special operation group (SOG) and district voluntary force (DVF) had launched a combing operation following a tip off when Maoists fired at it in Silakuta forest in Padia area.
 
A fierce exchange of fire ensued when the red rebels challenged the security personnel in which at least 14 ultras including a woman cadre were gunned down, Singh said.
 
Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Akhileswar Singh, who led the operation, said some explosive materials, arms and ammunition and Maoist literature were seized from the site.
 
Describing the operation as a major success in the drive against left wing extremists in the region, the DIG said a massive search operation has been launched in the forest after the encounter.
 
Meanwhile, before leaving for Malkangiri with ADG (Intelligence) Abhaya, DIG (Operation) S. Priyadarshi, DGP Prakash Mishra told media persons that they are suspecting the involvement of two extremist groups in the case – the local operational squad (LOS) of Padia area or a group of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal committee. 
 
“We have been trying to insulate that area from Maoists for a long time and this is certainly a step which would send right message to the Naxals out of our state not to enter our area,” Mishra added.
 
The group that camped in the forest was suspected to have been involved in the recent attack by Maoists on a convoy of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh, police said adding further details would be available after the ongoing search operation in the area is complete.