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Gadchiroli police hunt for top naxalite leader

india Updated: Aug 18, 2009 01:17 IST
Sweta Ramanujan
Sweta Ramanujan
Hindustan Times
Gadchiroli police hunt for top naxalite leader

The Gadchiroli police are looking for top Naxal leader Joganna.

He was suspected to have been part of the group of Maoists who had an exchange of fire with the Gadchiroli police near Etapalli in Gadchiroli district on Friday.

One Maoist was killed in the encounter. The police are yet to establish his identity.

The police said, Joganna was part of the group, which comprised three Dalams (Naxal band) — platoon number 3, Surjagad Local Operation Squad (LOS) and Kasansur LOS.

“We have seized literature indicating that the Maoists belonged to these three Dalams,” said S. Jayakumar, superintendent of police.

“We had intelligence inputs that they had plans to sabotage Independence Day celebrations here but we managed to secure the area.”

The police suspect that many Maoists may have been grievously injured in the encounter, which lasted at least two hours.

The police found blood trails at the camp the Maoists had set up in the jungle.

“We are getting reports and are working on the leads,” said Jayakumar. The police are combing the surrounding areas and scouting hospitals to look for the injured Naxalites.