The police also seized one SLR and one .303 rifle and intensified their combing operations.

One Maoist gunned down after shootout at Andhra border arms seizedImage for representation: PTI
news Crime Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 09:13

Security forces in Andhra Pradesh killed one Maoist in a shootout on Friday along the state’s border, in Malkangiri district in Odisha.

This was the second exchange of fire between the two groups in less than 48 hours, in the isolated region. The Maoist who was killed is yet to be identified, but reportedly belonged to the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist.

The police also seized one SLR and one .303 rifle from his possession and intensified their combing operations after they found a Maoist training camp in the thick forest.

Security has also been beefed up in the Visakhapatnam Agency area, which has a large presence of tribal people.

According to reports, officials also suspect that Central Committee member Akkiraju Haragopal alias RK and in-charge of the Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) G Ravi are present in the area.

“Joint forces have been continuing combing operations in the area and they will continue for a few more days. The body of the Maoist was shifted to the Malkangiri district headquarters hospital and it will be handed over to the family once his identity is ascertained,” Visakha rural SP Rahul Dev Sharma told reporters.

It was in Malkangiri District itself, that as many as 24 Maoists, including eight women, were killed by security forces in a gun battle which also left a Greyhounds commando dead near the Andhra-Odisha border in 2016.

Acting on intelligence inputs, a combined team of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha Police carried out the operation in the Bejjangi forest in Odisha's Malkangiri district at the time.

In the week that followed, continuous combing operations raised the death toll to 31.

As activists moved court over the large loss of life, the Andhra Pradesh police told the Hyderabad High Court that the security personnel had to fire in self-defence. 

 

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