Phulbani: Two commandos of Special Operation Group (SOG) sustained bullet injuries in a gun battle with Maoists inside a forest in Odisha’s Boudh district on Saturday.
The wounded security men were rescued from the encounter site with the help of CRPF. Director-General of Police (DGP) Abhay himself airlifted the injured personnel to Bhubaneswar.
IG (Operation) Amitabh Thakur said police had received intelligence input that a group of Maoists were camping in a forest near Narayanprasasd village in Kantamal block. Following this, a joint team of CRPF, SOG and District Voluntary Force (DVF) was deployed in the area.
During the combing operation, Maoists started firing indiscriminately at the security personnel, who retaliated likewise.
The two SOG commandos were injured during the shooting.
Meanwhile, the DGP was touring Malkangiri and Koraput districts to review anti-LWE work. He received the news at Sunabeda and cancelled his programme. He then rushed to Padelpada in Boudh.
Sources said one IAF helicopter was requisitioned to airlift the wounded commandos, but could not make it to Padelpada because of bad weather en route. The DGP then himself arranged for the wounded to be airlifted to Bhubaneswar accompanied by a doctor.
Director (Intelligence) Lalit Das informed that the condition of the two commandos was now stable.
Briefing mediapersons in Bhubaneswar, the DGP said the exchange of fire took place under Gochhapada police limits in Kandhamal district. “Some Maoists are suspected to have been injured in the exchange of fire,” he said.
The DGP was in all praise for three persons for the airlifting of the injured jawans to Bhubaneswar.
“First I thank the BSF and its pilot. The BSF helicopter was not present at that spot and was instead was carrying a team of Odisha Police to Koraput and Malkangiri. One IAF chopper from Mahasamund from Chhattisgarh was scheduled to airlift the injured jawans, but it returned midway due to adverse weather conditions. However, braving the bad weather, the BSF pilot manoeuvred the chopper, took the injured jawans through an alternate route and landed it safely at a place in Padelpada from where the two jawans were airlifted to Bhubaneswar.
The DGP also thanked the CRPF for their immediate response. “After the CRPF personnel came to know about the incident, they immediately sent a reinforcement and rescued the injured jawans from the spot,” he added.
The DGP also thanked the doctor of Gocchhapada PHC, who unhesitatingly accompanied the two injured jawans to Bhubaneswar in the chopper.
He said that the condition of the two injured jawans is stable and the doctors at the AIIMS Bhubaneswar have begun their treatment.
Till reports last came in, the gun battle between security men and Maoists was continuing.