Bhubaneswar: In a first major operation by Odisha police after the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) situation was reviewed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday, a top Maoist Commander carrying a reward of Rs 8 lakh on his head was killed by the Odisha Police in an exchange of fire in Malkangiri district on Wednesday.
The slain Maoist identified as Rakesh Sodhi, is a Divisional Commander rank member of Military Platoon, Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee, informed Director General of Police (DGP) BK Sharma.
Sodhi is believed to have been involved in series of attack on police, including attack on police in Manthriam on July 8 2008 in which at least 17 SOG Jawan and Reserve Inspector SK Mishra attained martyrdom and a land mine attack on BSF at Janiguda in 2012 where four BSF personnel, including a Commandant had attained martyrdom.
However, a security person was also killed and another seriously injured in the gun-battle.
District Voluntary Force (DVF) jawan identified as Jaisingh Kabasi attained martyrdom in the exchange of fire. Another injured jawan, Ramsingh Durua, has been sent to Visakhapatnam for treatment.
Acting on a tipoff about the presence of Maoists, a combing operation, led by Malkangiri Superintendent of Police (SP) Rishikesh D Khilari, was carried out in Bonda Ghati, a hilly forest area, under Mudulipada police station.
A group of Maoists, positioned atop the hill, opened fire at the security forces first. The security personnel retaliated. In the exchange of fire, Rishikesh was killed and another was seriously injured.
Two rifles, some ammunition and other materials were recovered from the site, police said.
On Monday, Union Home Minister chaired a review meeting of Maoist-hit State’s Chief Ministers in New Delhi. Several CMs including, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik attended the meeting.