Malkangiri (Odisha), Jan 31 (PTI) A suspected Maoist was killed during a gunbattle with security forces inside a forest in Odisha's Malkangiri district on Sunday, police said.
The exchange of fire took place when personnel of the Special Operation Group (SOG) and District Voluntary Force (DVF) of the Odisha Police and the BSF were carrying out a joint anti-Naxal operation in Nunkhari forest in Mathili police station area in the early hours, Malkangiri's Superintendent of Police (SP) Rishikesh D Khilari said.
The operation was launched based on specific intelligence inputs about the movement of Maoists, he said.
The Maoists opened fire at the security personnel who retaliated in self-defence and a fierce exchange of fire followed, the officer said.
The body of a suspected Maoist was recovered during search operations in the area following the gunfight. The deceased is yet to be identified, he said.
A country-made gun, a pistol and huge quantities of ammunition, explosives and other articles were recovered from the area, the officer said.
'We take this opportunity to make an appeal to other active cadres and militias of Maoists to leave the path of violence and surrender themselves, avail the generous surrender and rehabilitation package announced by the Government of Odisha,' Khilari said.
The Maoists should join the mainstream and become a part of the ongoing peaceful development of the area, undertaken by the government through a focused approach, he added.
On Saturday, suspected Maoists gunned down two persons, including the son of a local sarpanch, in the Kandhamal district, police sources said. PTI COR SKN SBN SOM SOM