Malkangiri: A tribal sarpanch was killed by Maoists in Odisha`s Malkangiri district as the ultras apparently suspected him of being a police informer, police said on Friday.
A group of armed Maoists struck at the house of Soumendra Beti, Sarpanch of Materu gram panchayat in Padia area, about 40 km from here, and took him away late last night, Sub-Divisional Police officer Siba Subramanium said.
The body of Beti, aged around 40 years, was found by villagers in a nearby forest this morning, he said, adding that the body bore bullet marks.
Though investigation is on to ascertain the exact reason behind the killing, the red rebels appeared to have killed the sarpanch as they suspected him to be operating as an informer for the police, sources said, adding that the killers were suspected to have sneaked in from Chhattisgarh.
Statements of Beti had recently been recorded by a team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with their probe into the attack by Maoists on a Congress convoy in May this year in Chhattisgarh, they said.
The assailants apparently suspected that the sarpanch might have passed on some vital information about their activities and movements in the region to NIA as well as police, they added.