At least three Maoists including an area commander of bordering Jharkhand were killed in a gunfight with a specialised team of armed police reserve at a forest near Bisra in Sundergarh district on Friday.
Rourkela SP Diptesh Patnaik said area commander of Digha in Jharkhand, Mohd Muslem, was killed during a fierce encounter with the cops of District Voluntary Force, a specialised force of Armed Police Reserve trained in anti-Maoist warfare. The security personnel retaliated after the rebels hiding in the forest opened fire on them at Akhayatila Nala.
Muslem has at least 40 cases lodged against him for murder and attack on government establishments in East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand and Sundargarh district of Orissa. Police sources said the Jharkhand police helped the encounter by providing critical intelligence inputs.
One of the killed rebels was a Nepali while the identity of the third could not be established. A special American rifle, a 9 mm pistol, large quantity of cartridges and volumes of Maoist literature including leaflets and posters were seized from the site.
Meanwhile, a Special Police Officer was gunned down by Maoists in Kandhamal district. The SPO, Narenga Mallick of Dunguda village, was working with the Kotagada police.