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Five ultras killed in Odisha’s Kandhamal, say Odisha police

The Odisha police said that the recent exchange of fire between security forces and CPI (Maoist) cadres leading to the death of five ultras in Kandhamal district was its biggest success in a single operation.

They said that the Special Operation Group, a dedicated anti-naxal force, and District Voluntary Force, a special constabulary unit, were subjected heavy firing when they were carrying out a combing operation in Sirla forest area under the Tumudibandh police station in Kandhamal district on July 5.

In retaliatory firing, four naxals, including two women, died. On July 6, another CPI (Maoist) ultra was gunned down.

Encounters between security forces and naxals in the Tumudibandh area have been on for five days. Around 35 left wing extremists divided in different groups are suspected to be hiding in the jungle and tribal villages.

“For the first time, so many top Maoist cadres have died in a single operation. Never before have a state committee member (SCM), a divisional committee member (DCM) and one area committee member (ACM) died in one encounter. Earlier, a SCM and a DCM were killed on Angul-Deogarh district border,” said Amitabh Thakur, Inspector General of Police (Operation).

Sukru alias Kosa Sodhi, who was a SCM of CPI (Maoist) with a reward of ₹20 lakh on his head; one DCM with a bounty of ₹5 lakh and one ACM with a bounty of ₹4 lakh were killed, Odisha police sources said. Besides, one party member with a bounty of ₹1 lakh was also killed.

“A total reward of ₹30 lakh in a single operation and another ₹4 lakh the next day is a huge success and morale booster for the security forces,” a police official said.

Director General of Police Abhay has already has made an appeal to the Maoists to surrender and take advantage of the rehabilitation policy in place.

Recently, the State government achieved success in initiating development projects in Swabhiman Anchal, formerly known as Cut-Off area, a naxal stronghold, in Malkangiri district. The State police claimed Maoist influence had faded from 21 districts to 10 districts in the past few years.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 8:52:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/five-ultras-killed-in-odishas-kandhamal-say-odisha-police/article32037073.ece

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