Maoist area commander killed in encounter

Koraput/Bhubaneswar: Two hardcore Maoists including the area commander of Jhanjabati division were killed on Thursday by security personnel in a fierce gunbattle inside the Badamaturu forests under Bandhugaon police limits. The police has failed to identify the other woman cadre. The two deadbodies were brought from Bandgugaon to Koraput today.

The area commander of the CPI(Maoist) has been identified as Sitru alias Kamii Reddy. The police said that Kammi Redyy used other aliases like Belagala and Raghu for operations. Sitru was the area commander of Jhanjabati division of CPI(Maoist). "Sitru joined the CPI(Maoist) way back in 1993 and was close confidante of top Maoist leader Ganti Prasadam,said Soumendra Kumar Priyadarshi, DIG, South-Western Range.

The police said that Sitru who hailed from village Kumusar of Vijay Nagaram district of Andhra Pradesh shifted to Bandhugaon in 2008. Over 10 cases of murder and loot were pending against Sitru in several police stations of undivided Koraput district.

However, the identity of the other woman Maoist cadre killed in the encounter was yet to be established. The police impounded two country-made guns, eight rounds of live bullets and kit bags lying near the body.

The killing of Sitru has been hailed as one major success in anti-naxal operations. Of late, the Maoists have been at the receiving end in the naxal-police encounters. Budduram alias Santosh was kiilled in police encounter in Rayagada on Saturday. On the sane day another hardcore Maoist Mani Purty was nabbed by the Rourkela police. Girish, second in command of the CPI(Maoist) in the state committe too was nabbed by the police on January 24.