Gadchiroli police shot dead at least eight Naxals in an encounter near Bhatpar village on the Maharashtra–Chhattisgarh border in Bhamragad division of Gadchiroli district on Thursday morning.The encounter took place between 8.00 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. on the banks of River Indravati.“The number of Naxals killed is much more but we recovered only five bodies so far,” Gadchiroli Superintendent of Police (SP) Mohd. Suvej Huque told The Hindu. “We saw four Naxals escaping; one had a bullet injury on his shoulder .Our search operations are on, so we may get his body tomorrow. Two people jumped in the river so we may get their bodies as well. We can say the number may be around eight,” said Mr. Huque.
No policemen were injured in the encounter as they were under “good cover,” informed the SP. Police have identified three out of the five dead Naxals as Rita (25), the Deputy commander of Bhamaragad Platoon No.7, Sarita alias Jyoti (20) and Gummanna alias Chalasu Gawade (22).Police also recovered eight weapons, including one .303 gun, two muskets and five Bharmars.After receiving some information about the movement of Naxal Company No.10 near the Dhondiraj police post, the Gadchiroli police and some teams of the Anti-Naxal C-60 force started combing the area on Wednesday. On Thursday, some Naxals confronted the police and opened fire on them. When police teams returned the fire, many Naxals were killed, said the press note issued by the office of Superintendent of Police, Gadchiroli. Mr. Huque confirmed that there was input about the movement of Naxal Company No.10, but the firing on the police team was carried out by Naxal Platoon No.7.“According some intelligence inputs, the Naxals were planning to carry out a Lahiri-like incident in which 17 policemen were killed in 2009. They were asking for help from nearby villages,” informed Mr. Huque.