Monday, June 22, 2009

Two Maoists gunned down in Orissa

22 Jun 2009, 1142 hrs IST, PTI

MALKANGIRI (Orissa): Two Maoists were gunned down in a fierce gun battle with police in Orissa's Naxal-hit Malkangiri early today as a 48-hour
bandh called by the ultras began in five states, including Orissa.

The ultras, aged between 25 and 30 years, were killed during the exchange of fire at MV-12 area near here in the early hours, Malkangiri district superintendent of police Satyabrat Bhoi said.

The gun battle took place when a team of police and jawans of the elite Special Operation Group (SOG) were conducting a combing operation in a forest area and the ultras opened fire from their hide-out, he said.

Two pistols and some cartridges were recovered from the site, Bhoi said adding that the ultras belonged to a small group engaged in an operation against the newly recruited special police officers (SPO).

The operation had been launched after three Maoists opened fire during a checking by the police here last night and escaped into the forest. No one was injured in the incident.

A high alert has been sounded in the entire district after the incident and patrolling intensified, especially in view of the 48-hour bandh called by Maoists in five states including Orissa and West Bengal from today.

No untoward incident has so far been reported during the bandh which affected normal life in some pockets of districts like Malkangiri, Rayagada and Koraput where shops remained closed and vehicles were off the road.

On the eve of the bandh, Maoists warned the cabin man of Chandiposh railway station, 30 km from Rourkela, not to run trains on Rourkela-Bimalgarh route during the bandh period.

GRP sources in Rourkela said today that the Maoists also looted the mobile phone and searchlight of the cabin man, who was the lone person on duty at the station.

Bimlagarh is in Keonjhar district where only goods train and only one passenger train operates on the Rourkela-Bimlagarh route, Railway sources said.

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