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Anti-Maoist operations resume in Odisha

April 28, 2012 21:53 IST

With Biju Janata Dal MLA Jhina Hikaka walking to freedom and the two Italian hostages released earlier, the Odisha police have resumed operations against Maoists after a lull of 45 days.

There was a half hour firefight between the Maoists and the police on Friday night at a jungle under Sorada police station area bordering Kandhamal district, before the ultras fled, a senior police official who took part in the operation told PTI.

There was no casualty.

The raid was made on a camp of the Maoist Odisha State Organising Committee (Maoist) headed by its secretary Sabyasachi Panda, whose group had kidnapped Italian nationals Paolo Basusco and Claudio Colangelo on March 14 from Koraput district.

The police seized a generator and some rice bags from the camp, the official said.

The Maoists were planning to hold a meeting in Sorada area as they had been driven out from Kandhamal district, he said.

One of the Italians had informed that the Maoist group had only one generator.

"The portable generator is like a lifeline for the group which needs it to recharge mobile phones and run computer inside jungles," the official said.

The resumed operations followed the release of Hikaka on April 26.

Earlier Colangelo was released on March 25 and Bosusco on April 12.

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