18 Maoists killed near Andhra-Odisha border

Bhubaneswar, Oct 24 (IANS) At least 18 Maoists were killed in an encounter near the Andhra-Odisha border on Monday, said police.

Acting on intelligence inputs, a combined team of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha police carried out the operation near Jantri in Malkangiri district of Odisha in the early hours of Monday, Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said.

He said they had got the information about the presence of around 40 Maoists in the area.

“We are expecting that some top leaders of the Maoists may have died in the encounter. However, it can only be confirmed after the bodies are brought here,” said Mohapatra.

Two constables were injured in the encounter that took place in the “cut-off area” of Chitrakonda region of Odisha.

“We had information about the gathering of members of Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zone Committee of the Maoists in area under Chitrakonda police station in Malkangiri district,” said Odisha Police DG K.B. Singh.

“A joint operation of Odisha and AP police was launched after confirmation of the information by our team. The operation was led by Andhra Pradesh police and Greyhound jawans of the state played a major role in it,” said the DG.

Four AK 47 rifles, three Self Loading Rifles (SLR), and some other guns were among the weapons seized from the spot of the encounter.

It is suspected that a top Maoist of Odisha, named Uday, was among the Maoists killed during the operation. He had carried Rs 2 lakh bounty on his head.

However, the police are yet to confirm the death of the top Maoist leader.

Mohapatra said search operation is continuing and extra force is being sent to the area to intensify the combing operation.

–IANS

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