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7 Maoists Killed, Weapons Seized in Chhattisgarh

7 Maoists Killed, Weapons Seized in Chhattisgarh

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NEW DELHI, May 23: At least seven Maoists were killed in a gunfight in a forest near Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district on Thursday in a joint operation launched by the security forces and the police forces of Narayanpur, Bastar and Dantewada, official sources said.

Police also seized seven weapons and other materials from the incident spot, said officials, adding that the encounter was still in progress till late evening. The identities of the Maoists are yet to be ascertained.

According to a statement issued by the Narayanpur police, the gunfight began around 11am in the forest along the borders of Bijapur and Narayanpur district. Around 1000 security personnel from Bastar, Narayanpur and Dantewada were engaged in this operation.

“A joint team of the District Reserve Guard (DRG) of Narayanpur, Bastar and Dantewada and Special Task Force (STF) was out on an anti-Naxal operation on Wednesday night after specific input of Maoists leaders of Platoon number 16 of CPI (Maoist) and members of Indrawati Area Committee. At around 11am on Thursday, an exchange of fire started. After the exchange of fire stopped, bodies of two Maoists were recovered by Narayanpur police”, the statement reads.

The operation is being carried out in the Abujhmaad forest at the tri-junction of Narayanpur, Bastar and Dantewada districts. “Two bodies were recovered by the Narayanpur police in the morning, while in the evening, Dantewada police, led by deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Rahul Uike and DSP Ashish Netam, recovered five bodies. Five weapons were also seized, but the grade of weapons is yet to be ascertained,” officials said. Two weapons were seized by the Narayanpur police.

Abujhmaad straddles between Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh and is popularly called ‘Unknown Hill’ as the 6,000 sq km of thick forest has not been surveyed since the British era. The forest is the epicentre of Maoist activities and about a dozen senior cadres of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) are said to be still camping there, according to officials.

With the current encounter, 112 Maoists have so far been gunned down in separate encounters by the security forces and the state police this year, which is much higher than in 2023, in which only 22 Maoists were killed.

(Manas Dasgupta)



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