Three senior members of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) were gunned down by the police in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra on Sunday morning.
“A joint police team of Telangana and Maharashtra police was carrying out an anti-Maoist operation in Kotepalli forest area under Aheri division of Gadchiroli on Sunday morning. The Maoists attacked this joint police team at around 6 am. The police team retaliated the fire and the encounter went on for about an hour. Three senior Maoists were killed in this encounter and the rest of them managed to escape taking advantage of thick forest,” said a press statement issued by the Superintendent of Police (SP), Gadchiroli district.
The police also recovered one AK 47, one SLR and one .303 rifle from the spot of the encounter.
“The weapons, recovered from the dead Maoists, indicate that they were senior leaders possibly above the rank of Maoist commander, but their identities are yet to be ascertained,” added the police press statement.
According to some police sources from Chhattisgarh, one of the deceased Maoists in Sunday’s encounter was Athram Shobham alias Charles from Adilabad district of Telangana.
Athram Shobham reportedly worked for Telangana Special Zonal Committee of the CPI (Maoist) and carried a reward of Rs. 4 lakhs on his head.
“Other two look like his bodyguards,” informed an officer involved in anti-Maoist operations in restive Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.