A Maoist operative was killed during an encounter with security forces in the buffer zone of the Kanha forest reserve in Balaghat district, police said on Saturday.
Police identified the deceased operative as 25-year-old Sharda and said she was an area committee member of the Khatiya Mocha Dalam under the Bhartiya Communist Party. She was a resident of Bijapur district in the Bastar region, officials said.
According to Balaghat police, they received information about a gathering of around 15 Maoist operatives in Malkheda gram in the early hours of Saturday. Two teams of about 50 personnel each from Baihar police station were dispatched to the site, they added.
The two teams surrounded the operatives at the spot of the gathering. Balaghat IG KP Venkateshwara Rao told The Indian Express: “There was firing for around 30 minutes and in the cross-fire, while some operatives managed to escape, Sharda was gunned down. A few others are suspected to be injured.”
Investigation revealed that Sharda had nine cases against her in Balaghat, eight in Kabirdham and one in Rajnandgaon. She also had a bounty of about Rs 8 lakh on her head. Sharda is the second Maoist operative to be killed in the last two months in the Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh border region, where, police say, there has been an increase in Maoist activity.
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