Balangir: Two Maoists were gunned down by security forces in an encounter near Dudukamal forest under Belpada block in Balangir district.
The deceased were identified as Sanjeeb and Rakesh, the members of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) cadre, from Chhattisgarh. Both were carrying bounty on their heads.
While Sanjeeb, a divisional committee member was carrying a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh on his head, Rakesh, who was an area committee member, carried a Rs 4 lakh bounty on his head.
According to reports, the two dreaded Maoists were killed during a combing operation launched by a joint team of security forces led by Balangir SP K Siba Subramani at around 1.00 am on Saturday night on basis of intelligence input about presence of around 8-10 armed CPI (Maoist) cadres in Magur forest under Bender II Reserve Forest near Dudukomal village under Belpada police limits.
They had planned a meeting in the area where other Maoists were about to assemble.
On receiving specific information about their plan, when the operation team asked the Maoists to surrender before police and not to indulge in anti-national and unlawful activities, the members of the banned outfit attacked the security forces. Left with no option, the security forces opened fire at the cadres. While Sanjeeb and Rakesh were gunned down, other rebels managed to escape from the spot during the operation.
Bullet marks were also found on wall of the house during exchange of fire between the Maoists and security forces.
The security forces recovered one AK-47 rifle with two magazines and three rounds of live ammunition, one INSAS rifle with two magazines and 24 rounds of live ammunition, one navigation compass, one big knife from the spot.
The bodies of the Maoists have been sent to Belapada police station.
The midnight operation and death of two hardcore Maoists is a big blow to the outfit and will curtail their activities to a large extent which was hitherto going on unchecked. The successful operation is a big boost to the confidence of the security forces as well as the people of the area, said a press note released by the DGP.