Visakhapatnam: The security forces gunned down a Maoist in an exchange of fire with the red rebels along the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) in the Vizag Agency under the Annavaram police station limits on Sunday.

A senior police officer said that preliminary investigation has revealed that the slain Maoist was identified as Pangi Daya, a member of the Pedabayulu Dalam, and a native of the Vakapalle village of the G Madugula Mandal in the Vizag Agency.

This is the third exchange of fire within a week ahead of the martyrs’ week that will be commemorated by the Maoists from 28 July.

It may be recalled that the Agency area has been witnessing a series of clashes in the past week. On 19 July, an exchange of fire took place between the police personnel and the Maoists in the forest area in Killamkota panchayat under the Pedabayulu police station limits.

Sources in the police said that Chalapathi, a senior Maoist leader, could have been injured in the gun battle. The security forces have recovered five kit bags and a .303 rifle from the site.

Security has been beefed up and combing operations were intensified after reports stated that Akkiraju Haragopal alias Ramakrishna alias RK, the central committee member of the banned CPI (Maoist), might have arrived in the area. On 25 July, anti-Maoists posters surfaced in Chintapalle and Paderu mandals.

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