Cop injured in exchange of fire with Maoists

A police constable was injured in firing between suspected Maoists and security forces in Gandhamardhan forest range near Balangir’s Bamhani village in Patnagarh police station area on Sunday afternoon.

The injured has been identified as Sunil Das, who was admitted to the Patnagarh hospital soon after the incident. Senior police officers including the Balangir SP rushed to the spot to review the situation. There was no casualty reported. Police confirmed the situation was under control as the rebels fled into the jungle after the firing.

“Senior police officers have already arrived at the spot to review the situation. SP (Balangir) R Prakash has also reached the spot to supervise the matter. The situation has been under control,” SDPO (Patnagarh) Laxmi Narayan Panda said while talking to TOI on Sunday evening over phone.

Sources said Maoist activity has been growing in Balangir and Nuapara districts over the past couple of years, as these places are close to the Gandhamardhan forest range. Police said taking benefit of the geographical condition of the region, Maoists are trying to increase their activities on the border. “However we have indentified combing operation to curb their movement,” the SDPO said.

On the other hand, efforts are on to shift the injured to Cuttack or Bhubaneswar for treatment. Sources said he sustained bullet injuries on his shoulder.

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