15 Maoists killed in gunfight in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli

According to reports reaching here this morning, the encounter between the Left-wing extremists and the security forces began at 5.30am and was still on at the time of filing of this report
Police personnel show cartridges recovered from five Maoists killed in a gunfight with C-60 commandos in Khobra Mendha forest in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra on March 29. (File photo)
Police personnel show cartridges recovered from five Maoists killed in a gunfight with C-60 commandos in Khobra Mendha forest in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra on March 29. (File photo)
Updated on May 21, 2021 12:25 PM IST
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By Pradip Kumar Maitra

At least 15 suspected Maoists were killed in a fierce gun battle between the Gadchiroli police and CPI (Maoist) in a forest area between Potegaon and Rajoli in south Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra on Friday morning.

The exchange of fire began at 5.30am when, responding to a tip-off, around 200 jawans of C-60, an elite anti-Maoist squad of the district, raided a hideout. “At least 15 members of the CPI (Maoist) were killed in the encounter in the jungle,” confirmed Sandip Patil, the deputy inspector general of police, Gadchiroli.

“We kicked off the operation early morning after learning about Maoist presence in the forest. So far, 13 bodies have been recovered from the site. Searches are still on,” Patil said.

Also Read | NIA takes over probe into 2019 Maoist encounter in Chhattisgarh

District police superintendent Ankit Goyal said the C-60 commandos have recovered some arms, weapons and Maoist literature from the site.

According to him, several Maoists escaped and also took away the bodies of some of their slain colleagues. Among those killed is reportedly the commander of the local dalam (squad). The bodies were yet to be identified, and search operations were still on, said the senior police officer.

Police got the information that the local squad of the CPI (Maoist) was trying to organise a meeting with the villagers and tendu leaf contractors over wages for collection of tendu leaf. Many contractors from Telangana and other states buy rights for plucking of tendu leaves from Gadchiroli district every year. These contractors have to pay huge protection money to the CPI (Maoist) every year during the season.

Earlier this month, the Gadchiroli police gunned down four suspected senior Maoist leaders, including two women, in two separate gunfights in the district.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021