Maoists claim missing security personnel dead

Rourkela: The Maoists have claimed that a security personnel, termed as missing by police after an encounter, was killed inside a forest in Orissa's Sundargarh district bordering Jharkhand.

The personnel, identified as Laxman Kissan (28) of the district voluntary force, was found missing after the gunbattle at Chirubeda Saturday evening, Additional Superintendent of Police (Rourkela) Ramachandra Panda said.

Subsequently, Maoist leader Samar Jee, the area commander of the rebel outfit in Chhotanagpur, told a section of the media here that the body of Kissan was with them and would be handed over to his family members with honour.

Bodies of the two Maoists who were killed in the gun battle were yet to be found, police said. Police had claimed to have killed two Maoist guerrillas in the gunfire yesterday.

A Special Operation Group (SOG) constable Bhabagrahi Naik (28), who sustained a bullet injury, was admitted to a hospital where his condition is said to be stable.

Meanwhile, combing operation in Saranda forest area continued for the second day today, sources said.