Maoists’ Sabari dalam suffered a major blow with the death of its commander M. Mogili alias Naresh, 40, and squad member T. Ramu alias Raju, 35, in an “encounter” with a joint team comprising police personnel from Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh near the inter-State border on Thursday.

According to police sources, the encounter took place when a joint police team came across a group of Maoists during a combing operation at Badechelmi forest area close to the inter-State border under Maraigudem police station limits in the neighbouring Sukma district of Chhattisgarh in the morning.

An “exchange of fire” ensued between the police team and the rebels in the dense forest area close to Mallampeta in Chintur mandal in the district.

The Two Maoists, including Mogili, a native of Pochampalli village in Regonda mandal in Warangal district, and Ramu of Mallampeta in Chintur mandal were killed in the shootout, police sources said. The police recovered two SLRs, kitbags, a radio and revolutionary literature from the encounter site.

Reward on head

Mogili, the Maoist division committee secretary, had been underground for the past 15 years and he carried a reward of Rs. 5 lakh on his head, said the SP A.V. Ranganath.