Twenty three Maoists were gunned down in an exchange of fire with the Greyhounds of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha Police inMalkangiri forest area on the Andhra-Odisha border in the early hours today, a top police official here said. Those killed include 8 women.
According to AP Police, two constables of Greyhounds, an elite anti-Maoist force, were injured in the encounter that occurred during a routine combing operation being jointly carried out by police of both the states at Ramgurha in Malkangiri district of Odisha. The injured constables were shifted for treatment to Visakhapatnam by helicopter, the police official added. One of them later succumbed to injuries.
“The operation spot comes under Chitrakonda police limits of Malkangiri. The joint operation was carried out in cut-off areas of Chitrakonda close to Andhra Pradesh border. We seized some weapons from the Maoists,” ADG (intelligence) of Odisha Arun Sarangi told TOI.
Sarangi said the blueprint of the operation was finalized two days ago. “We had tip-off about movement of the Maoists in the cut-off area. We informed the Andhra Pradesh police for assistance,” Sarangi said, adding “The bodies will be brought to Chitrakonda for identification and post-mortem.”
The face-off between the security personnel and the outlaws lasted for about an hour. The ultras were said to be resting after a meeting when the encounter took place. Police have recovered four AK-47 rifles from the scene of the encounter.
The DGP said combing operation was still continuing as there was information that there were some more Maoists roaming in the region. Sources said that top Maoist leaders like Gajarla Ravi alias Uday, Bengal Sudhir, Anil , RK alias Saketh’s son Munna, Bakuri Venkata Ramana alias Ganesh and others were in the area at the time of the encounter.