Two Maoists killed in gun battle

Sambalpur: At least two Maoists have been reportedly killed during an exchange of fire between police and Red rebels in a forest in Subarnapur district on Tuesday night, police said.

“We suspect the death of two Maoists and at least 10-15 ultras have been injured in the gun battle,” DIG (Western Range), Sanjay Kumar said.

The exchange of fire ensued during a combing operation in the Patrapalli-Jharbahali forests under Ulunda police station, police said. A special operation group (SOG) jawan was also injured in the gun battle.

Arms including one SLR, four rifles, a hand grenade, a pistol besides other materials being used by the ultras were seized from the spot, Kumar informed media.

On a tip-off that Maoists active in Chattisgarh and Jharkhand had set up many camps in the area, the SOG with the help of local police had launched a combing operation in the area when they encountered retaliation which continued for over an hour.

However, the ultras succeeded in retreating into the forests, sources said.

“From primary information we believe that the group comprising 50-60 ultras including 20 women cadres, were camping in the area as a transit point. We are waiting for more information on this,” added Kumar.

Combing operation in the area has been intensified following the incident.