Maharashtra: At least 26 Maoists killed in one of the longest encounters in Gadchiroli, says police
The gun battle took place in the morning at Korchi in Mardintola forest area when a C-60 police commando team was conducting a search operation
At least 26 naxals were killed on Saturday in an encounter with police in eastern Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district, over 900 km from Mumbai, senior officials said.
"We have recovered the bodies of 26 naxals so far from the forest," said district Superintendent of Police Ankit Goyal.
The incident took place in the morning at Korchi in Mardintola forest area when a C-60 police commando team was conducting a search operation led by additional SP Soumya Munde, Goyal said.
26 Naxals have been eliminated in an encounter with the C-60 unit of Maharashtra Police in the jungles of Gyarapatti in Gadchiroli district today. Three jawans have suffered injuries in the encounter: Gadchiroli SP Ankit Goel
— ANI (@ANI) November 13, 2021
The encounter was one of the longest in the history of Gadchiroli — it started at around 6 am and ended by 4 pm, reports The Indian Express.
While police claim that around 100 elite C-60 commandos of the Gadchiroli police carried out the operation, sources told The Indian Express that there were 16 parties of the C-60 commandos with a total strength of over 500.
Sources also confirmed that the operation was launched as cops had prior knowledge of Maoists camping in the forest. "The group mainly comprised Korchi Dalam members led by Sukhlal, member of the Gadchiroli divisional committee of the CPI(Maoist). But there must have been members of some other formation as well as the encounter was a prolonged one, indicating that there was stiff resistance by the Maoists," sources said.
With 26 casualties, Saturday's encounter is the second biggest in the history of Gadchiroli.
On 23 April, 2018, the Gadchiroli police had gunned down 40 Maoists in two different skirmishes. While 34 were killed in the Boria-Kasnasur area of Etapalli tehsil, six from the same group were gunned down while they were reportedly on the run in Aheri tehsil.
As per PTI, identity of the slain naxals is yet to be ascertained, however, according to sources, a top rebel leader was suspected to be among them.
Four police personnel were also seriously injured in the action and were taken to Nagpur by a helicopter for treatment, officials had said earlier. The district lies on the border of Chhattisgarh.
With inputs from agencies
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