Five ultras killed in Odisha Police-Maoist encounter

Security team raids hideout, one SOG jawan injured

At least five Maoists were killed in a major police-Maoist encounter near Bhaliaguda village at Mohana in the tribal dominated Gajapati district in south Odisha on Wednesday morning.

“The bodies of the five killed Maoists have been recovered. A combing operation is on in the area,” Gajapati district Superintendent of Police (SP), Asis Singh said adding that a jawan of the Special Operation Group (SOG), the elite force of the state police formed to tackle the Maoist menace, has sustained injuries in the battle.

Police sources said the encounter took place when the SOG and the local police of two Maoist infested districts of Gajapati and Ganjam raided a Maoist camp following a tip off.

All the five ultras who have been killed in the gun battle belong to newly floated Odisha Maoists’ Party (OMP), a splinter group of the CPI (Maoists) formed by Sabyasachi Panda after he disassociated himself from the original Maoist organisation. Panda, who was earlier heading the Odisha unit of the CPI (Maoists), was in the news a few months back for kidnapping two Italian nationals in Kandhamal district.

Singh confirmed that it was Panda who was leading the Maoists’ counter attack against the police during the Wednesday’s encounter but managed to give the slip. A large amount of arms and ammunitions and explosives have been recovered from the spot, he added.

Mili Panda, the wife of Sabyasachi Panda and activist Dandapani Mohanty who successfully negotiated with the senior Maoist for the release of two abducted Italians, has strongly condemned the incident. “It was nothing but a conspiracy by a section of the senior state police officials to force him (Panda) to indulge in violence,” she said.

Mohanty described the encounter as a cold blooded murder. “It was not an encounter but cold blooded murder. The Maoists have been killed when they were sleeping in their camp,” the senior activist said adding that Panda was not indulging in violence since the kidnap incident.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
Comments (+)