Phulbani: A woman Maoist was killed in an exchange of fire between security personnel and the left-wing extemists in Odisha’s Kandhamal district, police said Wednesday.
The Maoist was killed during a combing operation launched by Odisha Special Operations Group and District Voluntary Force in Sindhi forest Monday night, the IG Southern Range, Satyabrata Bhoi said.
There was an exchange of fire between the security personnel and LWEs for several hours and 20 Maoists reportedly fled. The body of the woman Maoist and a gun was found during the search in the area the next day, he said.
The Maoist is the first to have been killed in Odisha this year, officials said.
The woman Maoist is believed to have been staying in a camp of the proscribed CPI(Maoists) of Kandhamal-Kalahandi-Boudh-Nayagarh (KKBN) division, Bhoi said.
Kandhamal superintendent of police P Vinit Agrawal said combing and search operations have been intensified in the area and a country-made pistol and other materials were seized from the spot, the official said.
The last woman Maoist to have been killed by security forces was at Tumudibandha area in 2019 during a similar exchange of fire. In 2017 another was gunned down by the Special Operation Group in Milicia reserve forest in Kandhamal district.