24 members of the banned CPI (Maoist) were killed in an encounter with a combined team of the Andhra Pradesh and Odisha police near Jantri in Malkangiri district of Odisha, a few km away from the border with Andhra Pradesh, in the early hours of Monday. This is the highest casualty Maoist party suffered in this area.
This was a joint operation of the Greyhounds (special anti-naxalite force of Andhra Pradesh) and the Odisha police. The joint force hit a Maoist camp deep in the Begangi forest close to Balimela reservoir of the district. The forces were combing the area after receiving information about the presence of some senior Maoist leaders holding a plenary session. Two personnels of Greyhounds including the attack commander, were injured in the encounter. The injured constables were shifted for treatment to Visakhapatnam by helicopter.
The face-off between the security personnel and the outlaws lasted for about an hour. The ultras were said to be resting after a meeting when the encounter took place.
Four AK-47 rifles, three self-loading rifles (SLR), and some other guns were among the goods seized from the spot of encounter. According to police sources, the exchange of fire occurred at Bejing jungle between Panasput and Ramgarh of this cut-off area. The bodies of the Maoists are likely to be shifted to Chitrakonda in Odisha on the AP border for post-mortem.
The combing operation was still continuing as there was information that there were some more Maoists roaming in the region.