Maoists shot dead a police officer they had abducted, even as a Central Reserve Police Force jawan was killed in a landmine explosion during the combing operation launched to rescue him, at Chandiposh forest area, approximately 50 km from Rourkela in Orissa on Friday.
The body of Sub-Inspector Ajit Bardhan, 30, who was abducted by armed Maoists late on Thursday night, was recovered during a combing operation at Jharbeda in the dense forest of Chandiposh, police said.
Police said there was a gunshot mark on the head. CRPF jawan, Abdul Rafiq, 29, was killed in a landmine explosion during combing operation to rescue Bardhan at a place between Chandiposh and Jharbeda, police said.
More than 50 Maoists kidnapped Bardhan when he was on the way to work at Koida police station by a jeep. The ultras also looted an explosive-laden van.
Van driver Trinath Sahoo, who tried to speed away, sustained bullet injuries and was admitted to a hospital. The police said Maoists first targeted the explosives meant for mining activities on NH-23 near Champajharan and then kidnapped the police officer who was traveling on the route. The ultras released the jeep driver when Bardhan requested them not to harm a private jeep driver.
The helper of the explosive-laden van, who had fled immediately after the attack by Maoists, was yet to be traced, police said. According to Inspector General (Western Range) P Acharya, Maoists had taken the looted van to Manuapada village, bordering Jharkhand.
The ultras had set the van afire after shifting the explosives to another vehicle, he said, adding that the burnt vehicle was located by the combing team. Explosive material are transported by private carriers for mining in mineral-rich areas of Sundargarh district.
Rourkela Superintendent of Police D Patnaik, who is monitoring the combing operations, said Maoists were suspected to have entered deep inside Chandiposh forest.
This was perhaps the first instance in Sundargarh district when Maoists kidnapped and killed a police officer, though there have been instances of abduction of forest and railway employees in the past, police said.