Maoists gun down special police officer in Malkangiri district

KORAPUT: Defying all security measures, Maoists killed a special police officer (SPO) and injured another on the second day of martyrs’ week in Malkangiri district on Sunday.

While the deceased has been identified as Ajit Sodhi from Similibalsa village, the injured SPO, Lachmaya Madkami, is a resident of Basanboda village of Podia block.

An eye-witness said, “The incident took place around 2.15 pm at the crowded Podia weekly market. A group of at least three Red rebels shot at the two policemen from close range. While one of the SPO died on the spot, the other lay writhing in a pool of blood. The Maoists fled the spot shouting slogans. Within minutes the marketplace took a deserted look as tension gripped the area.”

Police said the two SPOs were attached to the Podia police station. The duo had gone to the haat to purchase grocery items. While Ajit received four bullets, at least two bullets hit Lachmaya.

“Additional security forces rushed to the haat and found the body. The injured SPO was immediately shifted to Malkangiri hospital. We have launched a search operation and intensified combing operation in and around Podia,” Malkangiri SP Akhilesh Singh said.

Earlier, on May 16, 2010, Maoists had gunned down a constable indentified as D Ramachandra at Podia haat.

Meanwhile in Koraput, Red rebels assembled at the martyrs’ pillar erected at Borgi in Narayanpatna police station area to pay homage to their deceased leaders on Saturday. According to sources, a large number of villagers also attended the meeting which continued for a couple of hours. Revolutionary songs were sang by Maosit cadres and the Red leaders urged villagers to join the Maoist movement to get their legitimate rights over land, forest and water.

“We are keeping a close watch on the development and necessary security measures have been taken for the martyrs week,” Koraput SP Awinash Kumar said.

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