Madhya Pradesh Police on Monday claimed to have killed a Naxalite, carrying a reward of Rs 12 lakh, in an encounter in Balaghat district of the state.
Based on a tip-off about the movement of the wanted Naxalite, a joint team of Hawk Force and district police launched a search operation in the area. There was a gunfight after Maoists opened fire at the team. During a search after the firing, the body of one Maoist was found on Sunday, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sanjay Singh said.
According to Singh, the Naxalites were asked to surrender but they opened fire, which was retaliated by the police team. The slain Naxalite was identified as Rupesh aka Hoonga, a member of Bhoramdev Dalam. “He was carrying a reward of Rs 12 lakh and was wanted by the police in Maharashtra, MP, and Chhattisgarh,” Singh added.
Briefing the media this morning, State Home Minister Narottam Mishra said that the killing of the wanted Maoist was a major breakthrough as he was wanted in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. “Security forces are continuously taking effective action to drive out the Naxalites from Madhya Pradesh. I congratulate our police team and Hawk Force for the success of this operation,” Mishra added.
Last month, Hawk Force had killed two Maoists during an encounter in the forest of Balaghat. A senior police officer said there has been an increase in the movement of Maoists in Mandla district and its adjoining Balaghat, which shares a border with Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra but security forces have been able to thwart Maoist plans of strengthening their presence.