The West Bengal Police claimed on Friday that it had achieved a major success in a 12-hour-long gun battle with Maoists in a jungle in West Midnapore district.
Early Thursday, the combined forces attacked Hatilot jungle near the Maoist-dominated Lalgarh, 200 km west of Kolkata, on a tip-off.
Although police sources claimed that about 20 rebels were killed, state police chief Bhupinder Singh said, "As we couldn’t recover any body, I cannot quantify the success."
But the sources said pictures taken from a helicopter substantiated their success claim.
The Union Home Ministry, however, said that the forces caught three people, including an explosives expert.
The state police also claimed that Koteswar Rao, alias Kishenji, politburo member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), was injured and was undergoing treatment at a village near Lalgarh.
Among the rebels, whom the police claimed to have felled, was a PhD scholar from Jadavpur University, Bikram alias Abhishek Mukherjee, allegedly involved in the attack on a Tata Motors showroom on December 4, 2006.