A total of 24 Maoists were killed in a 90-minute-long encounter with a joint team of the Odisha Police and Andhra Pradesh Police Greyhounds personnel early on Monday morning. The encounter took place in a forest in Malkangiri district near the Andhra-Odisha border and 11 women were also a part of the 24 maoists.
Two Greyhounds personnel were injured in the exchange of fire and one later died in a hospital in Visakhapatnam. He has been identified as Muhammad Abu Bakr. As reported by Indian Express, Malkangiri SP Mitrabhanu Mahapatra said that they had prior information about such a large gathering and following the information a joint team of the Greyhounds, Odisha Police Special Operation Group and District Voluntary Force surrounded a Maoist camp in a forest area between Bejing and Muchiputam, under Panasput gram panchayat of the district, in the early hours of Monday.
The plenary session that was being conducted had the presence of many dreaded Maoists, “We had definite information about the presence of 50-60 Maoists, mostly from Andhra Pradesh. Since the area is located in the cut-off area on the Andhra-Odisha border, the operation was launched from the other side, and Greyhounds took the lead,” said Mahapatra. “Our teams are still sanitising the area,” he added.
While there were reports that top Maoist leaders, including Gajarla Ravi alias Uday and Chalapathi alias Appa Rao, were among those killed, there was no confirmation from the police. Fourteen of the bodies are yet to be identified.
Some of the other Maoists who were killed have been identified as Daya, Venkat Ramana, Bengal Suresh, Ganesh, Latha, Mamata, Budri, Rajesh, Swarna, Madhu and Murali.
Four AK-47s and three SLRs were among the weapons recovered from the encounter site.