One security personnel was killed and five others were injured in an encounter between naxalites and CRPF jawans in Khobramendha forest area near Malewada village under Kurkheda tahsil, bordering Chhattisgarh on Tuesday evening.
According to reports, the encounter began at 3.30 pm after the security forces acting on specific information went in for the search operations. When a group of CRPF jawans of 191 battalion reached near the area, the naxalites of CPI (Maoists) opened fire indiscriminately. The CRPF jawans retaliated immediately and a fierce encounter continued there for two hours.
It was said that over 100 armed naxalites gathered there for a meeting. When they saw the CRPF jawans, the armed Maoists challenged them and the exchange of fire continued there for over two hours. The naxalites gunned down a jawan while injured several others. Of them five were reported to be critical.
The naxalites fled from the scene when additional police forces reached there to challenge the left-wing extremists.
The injured security personnel have been brought by helicopter to Nagpur for treatment. The CRPF jawan, who was killed by the Maoists, was identified as: Mahendra Singh of Punjab. The injured jawans include: Yogesh Kumar Prasad (Delhi), Rajesh Patayalia (Gujarat), and Arun Markande of Rahuri in Ahmednagar district (Maharashtra), Satish Shinde of Jalgaon and Ashok Kawle of Bhandara (Maharashtra).
Talking to Hindustan Times, Viresh Prabhu, the superintendent of police (SP), Gadchiroli district, said that the encounter started at 3.30 pm, after the CRPF jawans got tipped off about heavy naxalite presence in the Khobramendha jungle. “We suspected couple of deaths from the naxalite side as heavy firing witnessed from both the sides,” he said. However, the district administration could not find a single body of naxalite at the site.
A combing search operation is on in the area by the joint police forces of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh immediately after the incident.
Details are still awaited.