Maoists, police exchange fire in Kandhamal; search intensified

Phulbani: Security personnel have intensified search operation in Pokharibandha forest near Barakhama in Kandhamal district after an exchange of fire with the Maoists this morning.

Talking to OTV over phone, Kandhamal SP Kanwar Vishal Singh said the exchange of fire took place inside Pokharibandha forest near Barakhama under Baliguda police station limits at about 10.30 AM when the district police was on a joint combing operation with Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel.

He said the exchange of fire took place two days after a follow-up operation conducted by the security personnel following a firing incident in the area.

Singh said he got the news from the team leader through satellite phone.

Asked whether there was any casualty during the exchange of fire, he said security personnel have intensified combing operation in the forest after the cross-firing was stopped. “We can give the details after the team returns from the area,” he added.

The SP did not reveal the details citing tactical and security reasons.