Police, Maoists exchange fire in Niyamgiri forest

Rayagada: Heavy exchange of fire ensued between Maoists and the police at Lakhapadar inside Niyamgiri forest in Rayagada district this morning after the Red Rebels triggered a landmine blast.

Briefing newsmen about the encounter at the district headquarters, Rayagada SP K Siva Subramani said the police had received information about the presence of a group of armed Maoists in the Lakhapadar area inside Niyamgiri forest last night.

“Acting on in the information, the District Voluntary Force (DVF) and the district police began a joint combing operation in the area in the morning. During the operation, the Maoists, anticipating the movement of the security personnel in their expected route, triggered a landmine blast at about 9.45 AM and opened fire at our team who immediately took position and retaliated. The exchange of fire continued for about 45 minutes. After the firing stopped, the security personnel conducted a search operation inside the forest and seized a tiffin bomb, two kit bags, five live ammunition, Mao uniforms and some Maoist literatures,” the SP informed.

Going by the circumstantial evidence during the search operation, it is likely that the Maoists have sustained casualties, he added.

“It will be cleared after the search operation is completed,” he added.