Bhubaneswar/UNI: Four armed Maoists cadres including two female cadres of BGN division were killed during an exchange of fire with the security forces inside Sirla forest under Tumudibandha Police Station limit of Kandhmal district today.
The DGP office sources here said the identity of the Maoists killed is being verified. Police party also recovered six sophisticated weapons along with IED during the search operation after the exchange of fire from the spot.
Police recovered three SLR with magazine, one INSAF rifle with magazine, two country made weapons, 16 SLR rounds, two INSAS(5.56mm) rounds, eight haversack, five solar plates, four radio sets, huge amounts of medicines, literature, and electric wire.
Police suspected that there were around 35 to 40 armed Maoists in the jungle who were having sophisticated weapons and heavy explosives.
The Combing operation has been intensified in the area and search is continuing for other Maoists.
Sources said a search operation was launched yesterday jointly by the SOG and DVF after getting reliable information about the presence of an armed group of Maoist near Sirla reserve Forest under Tmudibandha Police Station area of Kandhamal District.
While the search operation was going the police party saw that a large group of Maoist was camping in the jungle area.
The Police party tried to approach them but suddenly heavy fire came from the side of the Maoists.
The security forces asked the Maoists to surrender but they did not pay any heed and started firing continuously at the police party from sophisticated automatic weapons and also lobbing grenades.
Due to this some police personnel also got injured. When the Police party fired in self defence, the Maoist fired for some more time and finally they escaped taking cover of dense forest.
After the firing stopped and Police party searched the area and found the bodies of four armed Maoists of BGN division including two female cadres.
DGP Abhaya who visited the area appealed to all Maoists operating in Odisha to surrender and join the national mainstream. Odisha government has a very generous surrender and rehabilitation policy for them, he said.
Odisha Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy congratulated the officers and Jawans of Odisha police on successful operations in Kandhamal.
Their brave action is much appreciated. Death of four Maoist confirmed. This strengthens our resolve to free our state from extremism and spur all round development in the state, Mr Tripathy said in his twitter page.