In an encounter with the police of district Voluntary Force, four Maoists including two women were killed in a forest in Odisha’s Kandhamal district on early Sunday morning.

Based on a tip-off, a team of Special Operation Group and District Voluntary Force policemen of Kandhamal district went to Sirla forest near Tumudibandh area, Kandhamal district, said inspector general of police of anti-Maoist operations, Amitabh Thakur. At the time of the encounter, there were around 35-40 armed Maoists in the camp. The police also seized six sophisticated weapons including three SLR rifles, one INSAS rifle with magazines from that area.

“While the search operation was going on, the police team saw a large group of Maoists camping in the jungle area. Police party tried to approach them but they came under heavy fire from the Maoist side. When the police asked them to surrender they continued to fire and also lobbed grenades. When police fired back, the Maoists escaped taking cover of dense forest cover,” said Thakur as quoted by Hindustan Times.

After the firing stopped, police found the bodies of four Maoists of Bansadhara Ghumsar Nagabali division. The identities of the slain Maoists are now being verified by the police.

This is the first killing of Maoists by Odisha police this year.

On Thursday, security forces busted a Maoist camp inside a forest in Kandhamal district. Over 15 kilogram of explosives, 28 detonators and tiffin carriers meant to be used as Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were seized by the SOG personnel. However, the Maoists had already fled from the camp that was located near Samarbandh village under Phiringia police station area.