Two village guards — locally known as gramrakshis — were murdered by Maoists in the cut-off area of the Chitrakonda reservoir in Malkangiri district of south Odisha.

Their bodies were found on Tuesday near Panasput. The gramrakshis were among nine persons abducted by Maoists a few days ago, said Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Singh.

The gramrakshis were identified as Manik Khilo and Jagabandhu Khilo. Manik was from Handikhal, while Jagabandhu was from Joda Amba. While one of them was shot dead, the other’s throat was slit.

According to sources, the Maoists claimed the two were police informers.

On September 20, former sarpanch Mistu Khara and a naib sarpanch Raju Khara were abducted.

Seven gramrakshis launched a search for them but they were also taken hostage on Sunday. Five of the gramrakshis were later set free.