15 Maoists killed in encounter in Chhattisgarh forest
The Chhattisgarh police on Monday claimed to have killed 15 Maoists in an encounter in Sukma district on Monday morning that left two other rebels, including a woman, injured. They were later arrested.
“The encounter started at around 6.30 am when a team of District Reserve Guard (DRG), Special Task Force (STF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) conducted the operation following a a specific intelligence input about the Maoist camp in Nalktong village in South Sukma,” said Special Director General (anti-Naxal operations) DM Awasthi.
Police said that the today’s encounter was part of an operation launched on August 4 by the Sukma police to check recruitment drive by local Maoist units. Police said the Maoists were camping in the area to hire locals of the nearby villages.
“Forces were sent to cordon off the camp inside the jungle. On Monday morning, a DRG team saw the Maoist camp and challenged the rebels. They fired at the security forces, who retaliated. There were about 40 Maoists in the camp when the encounter started but some of them managed to flee,” said superintendent of police, Sukma, Abhishek Meena.
The SP said that after guns fell silent, the police recovered bodies of 15 Maoists and 16 weapons, including 315 bore and 12 bore guns.
He said two Maoists--area committee member (ACM) Madkam Deva and an unidentified woman--injured in the gun-battle were arrested and brought to Sukma.
The killed Maoists were from the area committee active in the tri-junction forest of Konta, Golapalli and Bhejji areas in south Sukma, police said.
“We have also recovered huge quantity explosives from the camp,” the SP said.
The security forces are conducting combing operations in the area to track down the injured Maoists, who managed to flee.
As per Chhattisgarh police, in 115 encounters this year 86 Maoists,
41 security personnel and 49 civilians have been killed. In the major ones, eight Maoist were killed in Dantewada district on July 19 and another eight on April 27 in Bijapur district, according to police.
More details are awaited.