Two dreaded Maoists, including a woman, were killed and one caught alive in a joint security operation of the Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh Police commandos on Friday, a senior police official said.
The combined action by the commandos of the two neighbours was the first when the Maharashtra Police entered inside Chhattisgarh, during a combing operation, said Gadchiroli’s Superintendent of Police, Neelotpal.
During the search operations in Tekameta forests, around 10 kms from the Maharashtra boundary this morning, some hidden Maoists suddenly opened fire at the security forces.
Exercising restraint, the commandos appealed to the Maoists to stop the firing and surrender peacefully, but the rebels retaliated with increased intensity.
Countering the attack, the security forces fired in the direction where the Maoists were suspected to be hiding and the gun battle continued for over 30 minutes.
The firing stopped as the Maoists had apparently run away into the thick jungles, and the security forces carried out a search of the vicinity.
They stumbled across the bullet-ridden bodies of two Maoists, an unidentified male and a most wanted female, besides two SLRs, a country-made rifle, ammunition and a cache of Maoist belongings, said SP Neelotpal.
The woman has been identified as Kanthi Lingavva, 41, of Nirmal District in Telangana who carried a combined booty of Rs 20 lakh on her head – Rs 15 lakhs by Maharashtra and Rs 5 lakh by Telangana.
She is the wife of Mailarappu Adellu, member of the Telangana State Committee and Secretary of KB Division Committee of the Maoist organisations.
A further distance away, the commandos came across an injured rebel, Lachhmayya Kuchha Weladi, 28, of Chhattisgarh, who has been arrested and taken into custody.
The entire operation was guided by Neelotpal, Additional SPs Anuj Tare, Kumar Chintha, Yatish Deshmukh and the C-60 Commandos force.
Since the encounter took place in the neighbouring state, the Maharashtra Police is completing the relevant formalities to transfer the case to Chhattisgarh Police for further investigations and action.