A Maoist was gunned down in an exchange of fire with security personnel inside a forest in Odisha's Kalahandi district on Wednesday, a police officer said.
The encounter took place in the forest near Kotbundel village when Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel were conducting a combing operation, Kalahandi Superintendent of Police B Gangadhar said.
After noticing the security personnel, about six Maoists fired and the SOG personnel retaliated, leading to the fierce encounter, he said.
While one Maoist was killed, the others fled the scene, the SP said.
A rifle has been seized from the place, he said.
"A search operation has been launched in the area and efforts are on to track the Maoists, who disappeared deep inside the forest," he said.
The group of Maoists was involved in the recent killing of a contractor at Babupadar village, police said.
The armed rebels had dragged contractor Bhima Dora, who was engaged in road construction, from his residence on Sunday night and his bullet-riddled body, was found near the village on Monday morning, the police said.
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