A tribal sarpanch was killed by Maoists in Odisha’s Malkangiri district as the ultras apparently suspected him of being a police informer, police said on Friday.

A group of armed Maoists struck at the house of Soumendra Beti, sarpanch of Materu gram panchayat in Padia area, and took him away on Thursday night, sub-divisional police officer Siba Subramanium said.

The body of Beti was found by villagers in a nearby forest on Friday morning, he said, adding that the body bore bullet marks.

Statements of Beti had recently been recorded by a team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with their probe into the attack by Maoists on a Congress convoy in May 2013 in Chhattisgarh, police said.