In the biggest encounter in Gadchiroli’s history till date in terms of Naxal casualties, seven insurgents were killed in a late night swoop by Gondia police in Korchi tahsil of the district on Monday night.
The deceased included some very senior members and two women.
The encounter happened when the Naxals were walking away from Khursipaar village after burning a gram panchayat there on Sunday. In a Joint Gadchiroli-Gondia operation supervised by Inspector General of Police (Nagpur range) Ravindra Kadam, the police had positioned four teams in different directions after the incident.
“Around 10/30 pm on Monday night, a few kilometer away from the village, a team led by Assistant Police Inspector R P Tiwari of Chichgadh police station of Gondia spotted the Naxals. An encounter ensued in which all seven member of the gang were killed,” Kadam told The Indian Express.
The deceased included some very senior members of the movement like Lalsu alias Bidal, 42 years, from Bastar, who was member of the North Gadchiroli-Gondia division of CPI (Maoist), Sunil Tadami, 28, Navin alais Sunil alias Durusingh Sttarsingh Tofa, 28, Veeru alias Vinay Dulesh Kunjilal Naitam, 40 and Rajesh Lalsu Soneray Tofa, 27.
The deceased women Naxals were Lalsu’s wife Shamko alias Shanta Korcha, 26 and Veeru’s wife Punni Ratti Narote, 36, a press note issued by Gadchiroli police said.
They had number of offences ranging between 26 to 48 registered against them.
The police recovered two AK-47, two SLR, one carbine, one .303, one 12-bore gun, a pistol and a walkie-talkie from the spot, along with a lot of other material.
In Gadchiroli, maximum Naxal casualty figure in an encounter – six – was last year at Govindgaon, where five of the deceased were women.
Monday’s operation was also significant for the quick intelligence drawn by the police after the Naxals burnt the gram panchayat. Sources said the Naxal act wasn’t perhaps liked by the villagers.
“Growing and faster intelligence is also indicative of Naxals losing public support, a fact borne out by many of their documents and statements of surrendered Naxals now,” they said.
This is second successful operation by Gadchiroli police this year. A few days ago, they had done one along with Chhattisgarh police on the other side of the border, killing three Naxals.
The police had turned the heat in a big way on the Naxals last year by killing a record 28 of them.
Party gives them 48 hours to respond.