13 Maoists killed by forces in Gadchiroli encounter
At least 15 Maoists, including seven women, were killed in an encounter with Gadchiroli Police in a forest area between Potegaon and Rajoli in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra on Friday, officials said.
The exchange of fire took place at around 5.30 am after around 200 jawans of the elite C-60 anti-Maoist squad conducted raids based on a tip-off that the local Maoist squad was trying to organise a meeting with villagers and tendu leaf contractors over wages for collection of tendu leaves.
“At least 15 members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) were killed in the encounter in the jungle,” Gadchiroli deputy inspector general of police Sandip Patil said.
“So far, 15 bodies have been recovered from the site and a search is underway,” Patil added.
It is believed that all the rebels killed in the encounter belonged to Kasansur dalam (squad). According to the district police, divisional committee member of the Maoists, Satish Mohanda, who was carrying a reward of ₹16 lakh on his head, was among the deceased. Deputy commander of Kasansur dalam, Rupesh Gawde, was also reportedly killed in the gun battle.
District police superintendent Ankit Goyal said several armed Maoists escaped with a few bodies of their colleagues.
Maharashtra home minister Dilip Walse Patil praised the police for the operation.