Top Maoist leader Rakesh gunned down in encounter
Malkangiri: Top Maoist leader Rakesh Sodhi, carrying a reward of Rs 8 lakh on his head, was killed during an encounter with security forces inside Pakanaguda forest in Bonda Ghati area in Malkangiri district on Wednesday.
Rakesh, hailing from Ghatapad village in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, was the leader of Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee of Maoists.
Acting on inputs about the presence of Maoists in the forest area, a joint team of Special Operation Group (SOG) and DVF launched a search operation. Meanwhile, the ultras, on seeing the security personnel, opened fire.
In retaliation, Rakesh was shot down by the security forces.
Besides, a District Voluntary Force (DVF) jawan, identified as Jayaram Kabasi, was martyred while another jawan sustained critical injuries in the gun battle.
The combing operation, led by Malkangiri SP Rishikesh D Khilari, was carried out in Bonda Ghati, a hilly forest area, under Mudulipada police station limits.
Rakesh was accused in a series of violent attacks on police including Manthriam attack on July 8, 2008 during which 17 SOG Jawans and RI S K Mishra attained martyrdom.
He had also allegedly carried out an attack on Khairput market and murdered an SI in 2012. Rakesh was also an accused in an attack on CRPF unit in MV 79 Haat in 2007.