Odisha

Woman Maoist Killed In Police Encounter In Kalahandi Jungle

**Bhawanipatna/Balangir:** A woman Maoist operative was killed in a gun battle with security forces in Kalahandi district’s Niyamgiri forest area under Bijepur police limits in Lanjigarh block on Thursday evening.

The unidentified lady ultra belonged to Vansadhara-Ghumusar-Nagavali division of the outlawed CPI(Maoist) oufit.

The encounter took place when Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel and the district police were on a combing operation in the forest area under Bijepur police limits led by Kalahandi SP Brijesh Rai after having intelligence inputs on the movement of the red rebels.

While the body of the woman Maoist was found after the gun-battle, the other members of the group fled the spot.

An INSAS rifle, one SLR and two rifles were recovered from the site.

Notably, the Vansadhara-Ghumusar-Nagavali Division is led by Modem Balakrishna and Nikhil.

However, it was not known if they were present when the exchange of fire took place.

The division has its stronghold in south of Kalahandi and adjoining Rayagada regions.

While the movements of Maoists have been witnessed in 10 blocks of Kalahandi district, the situation is acute in tribal pockets of Thuamul Rampur and Lanjigarh blocks.

On the other hand, Khaprakhol in adjoining Balangir district was awash with handwritten Maoist posters and banners (both in Hindi and Odia) of the CPI (Maoist) BBM Division Committee.

The posters and banners written in Hindi have alleged unholy nexus between the local kendu leaf forest and police officials in amassing crores of rupees by submitting false bills and in a bid to hush up their corrupt practice since 2013 till date are deliberately setting the kendu leaf godowns on fire and passing on the buck to the Maoists.

They have also dubbed both the State and Centre as anti-people and urged people to raise their voice strongly and fight against the allegedly faulty system.

In another poster written in Odia, the red rebels have also demanded declaring Balangir district a drought-affected district in 2016 and immediate payment of the 2015 drought input subsidy assistance. Irrigation facility to all land. Mandays of 250 to daily wagers. Total shut down of liquor dens. Ration cards to all tribal and dalit families. Immediate withdrawal of false case levelled against the innocent tribals.

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