Jawan killed, 7 hurt in Odisha Maoist ambush

Jawan killed, 7 hurt in Odisha Maoist ambush

A security official was killed and seven others injured when Maoists ambushed a convoy of the Special Operation Group (SOG) in Baliguda area of the Kandhamal district of Odisha, police said on Monday.

The Maoists fired at the SOG, an elite anti-Maoist force in the state, late on Sunday night when they were returning after conducting an anti-Maoist operation in a forest ghat road near Khamankhol, IGP (Southern Range) Amitabh Thakur said.

Singh said the security personnel were caught between an IED and firing from the Maoists  at the ambush spot, but the SOG members retaliated. Combing operation has been intensified in Kandhamal and Kalahandi district border, Singh said. The security personnel fired around 300 rounds which forced the Maoists to flee.

“They also used grenades,” said Asit Kumar Tripathy, additional chief secretary (home).

The police said the last vehicle of the SOG convoy came under heavy attack, leading to the death of one security personnel on the spot and injuring seven others. Three injured jawans were admitted to the Kandhamal district headquarters hospital, while four others were rushed to MKCG Medical College in Berhampur. The slain jawan was identified as Laxmikant Jani of Kalahandi district.

The state police chief said a massive combing operation was launched in the area after the incident. Reinforcements have been mobilised to step up the search operation.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condemned the attack. “Condemn cowardly attack on security personnel in Kandhamal. DGP @odisha_police is on the spot. Sacrifice of our jawan will not go in vain (sic),” he tweeted. After visiting the site, DGP K B Singh said, “Our boys are on high morale and have given a befitting reply to the Maoists. The standard operating procedure was followed when the jawans returned after a combing operation.”

Meanwhile, the Odisha Havildar, Constable and Sepoy Mahasangh demanded Rs 1 crore ex gratia for the family of the martyred jawan and a job for a family member within 15 days.

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