Police were combing the area after a murder when they encountered the Naxals

Acting on a tip-off, police carried out an operation against alleged Maoists in Maharashtra's Naxal-dominated Gadchiroli district on Monday. No casualties or injuries have been reported so far.

The firing, which involved long-range weapons, started around 9.45 a.m. near the Damrancha post and lasted about half an hour. “All the police team members are well. We are expecting some injuries on the other side as there were some blood spots,” Viresh Prabhu, Superintendent of Police, Gadchiroli, told The Hindu on the phone.

The police recovered some “Naxal literature, ‘ pittus ' [kits for carrying essentials], bullet empties, provisions, utensils and wires.

“Some Naxals were able to flee. However, the operation is still on,” Mr. Prabhu said.

The team was conducting an operation after receiving information about Naxal presence in the area following a murder.

A local contractor named Madvi was murdered in Perivalli the day before. “He was also a gram panchayat member. He was not a police informer. After his murder, our police team launched an operation in the area,” Abhishek Trimukhe, Additional Superintendent of Police, Gadchiroli, told The Hindu on the phone.

The team had intimated the headquarters from the Damrancha post as the firing began, but contact was lost due to a loss of network coverage, Mr. Trimukhe said.

The police did not disclose the strength of the force involved in the operation. The number of alleged Naxals involved has not yet been ascertained either.