(This article is originally posted by the Hindustan Times)
A day after Maoists killed two civilians in Kandhamal district, a combined team of Special Operations Group and District Voluntary Force killed a suspected Maoist in a forest in Malkangiri district late Saturday night.
Senior police officials said the local police received an input about Maoists’ presence and their camp in Nunkhari forest at Madakapada under Mudulipada police station area of Malkangiri and launched an operation. Soon after the forces reached the area, the Maoists opened fire at them. In the ensuing gun battle that last for around 3 hours, a Maoist was killed.
“We found the body of a Maoist in the camp along with a pistol and a rifle. There were several other items in the camp. We can identify the deceased through surrendered Maoists,” said inspector general of police(operations) Amitabh Thakur.
In a separate development, two of three villagers in Kandhamal district who were abducted by Maoists on suspicion of them being police informers were released.
Police said Rauta Majhi and Gobinda Majhi of Gumu village under Belghar police station area were picked up by Maoists on Saturday along with one Debendra Majhi. On Sunday morning, Gobinda Majhi and Rauta Majhi were released. Gobinda Majhi was brutally thrashed by Maoists.
On Friday night, Maoists in Kandhamal district had killed two men (one of whom was the son of a BJD leader), accusing them of being police informers. The Maoists killed Bhabani Shankar Patra and Hemanta Patra after waking them up from sleep.
Police officials said the abduction and the killing of two villagers on Friday night in Kandhamal showed the frustration of the rebels. “In the last one month, there have been 22 encounters in the trijunction of Kalahandi, Kandhamal and Raygada districts spanning 22 police stations. As they are unable to muster public support, they are resorting to indiscriminate violence and killing people who have no truck with police,” said the IG (ops).