Bhubaneswar: Top Maoist Leader Kishenji alias Malojula Koteswar Rao was shot dead by security forces on Thursday.

Two days back we got specific information that Kishenji, his wife Suchitra Mahato along with some of his associates were staying at Burishole forests. We started the hunt on Tuesday noon. But the team, comprising Kishenji, Suchitra Mahato and other Maoist leaders, made a narrow escape, police said.

Later a unit of Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), Counterinsurgency force and Members from three CRPF battalions formed a bigger team and laid the cordon and search operations by covering the entire jungle from all sides on Wednesday.

On Thursday morning a laptop bag, diary, map and letters were seized by the joint forces from Gosaibandh. They then were convinced that the Maoists were inside the adjacent forest of Burishole.

On Thursday, one body was recovered. Moreover an AK-47 used by Kishenji was found beside the body. The official said Kishenji’s body was identified by the AK-47 rifle he was carrying.

Suchitra and others fled.

Union Home Secretary, Mr. R.K Singh said, “Our officers have told us that Kishenji has been killed. It’s a huge setback for Maoists.”