At least four Maoists were gunned down during an exchange of fire with security forces in a dense forest in Odisha''s Kandhamal district on Sunday, a top police officer said.
Some rebels have also suffered injuries in the operation, Director General of Police (DGP) Abhay said.
Acting on a tip-off, a team of Special Operations Group (SOG) personnel and District Voluntary Force (DVF) officers had launched a raid in the forest in Tumudibandha area of Kandhamal district early in the day, he said.
As the security personnel approached their hideout, the Maoists opened fire and a gun battle ensued, leading to the death of the four rebels.
A huge cache of arms and ammunition has been seized from the area, the DGP said.
All four of them are suspected to be members of the Bansadhara-Nagavali-Ghumusar division of the banned CPI (Maoist), he said, adding that a massive combing operation is underway in the area.
Kandhamal SP Prateek Singh, who rushed to the site along with other senior police officers, said a woman cadre was among the Maoists killed in the encounter.
Congratulating the security forces, Chief Secretary A K Tripathy said the operation has strengthened Odisha's resolve to fight extremism.
"Congrats to Officers & Jawans of Odisha Police on successful ops in Kandhamal. Their brave action is much appreciated. Death of 4 Maoist confirmed. This strengthens our resolve to free our state from extremism and spur all round development in the state," he tweeted.
Congrats to Officers & Jawans of Odisha Police on successful ops in Kandhamal.Their brave action is much appreciated .Death of 4 Maoist confirmed . This strengthens our resolve to free our state from extremism and spur all round development in the state.@IPR_Odisha@CMO_Odisha- ChiefSecyOdisha (@SecyChief) July 5, 2020
Earlier this week, a Maoist camp was busted and explosives seized by security personnel in Phiringia area of Kandhamal.