At least 26 Naxals were killed on Saturday in an encounter with the Maharashtra police in Gadchiroli district, said State’s Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil.
“Today’s action is historic not only in the history of the State but also of the country. We are proud of our police,” Mr. Walse-Patil said.
The encounter reportedly took place in the early hours of Saturday at the Mardintola forest near Korchi in Gadchiroli district. A C-60 police commando team was conducting the search operation based on inputs when they encountered the Naxals, said Gadchiroli Superintendent of Police Ankit Goyal.
The team was led by Additional SP Somay Munde. Three police officials were injured during the operation and have been admitted to the hospital and are said to be stable.
“We have recovered 26 bodies so far from the forest,” said Mr. Goyal.
The identity of the slain Naxals was yet to be ascertained, sources said. Milind Teltumbde, a member of the Maoists’ central committee, was suspected to be among those dead, some reports said, though police did not confirm them.
Mr. Walse-Patil said that the police were verifying if Teltumbde, who is also one of the wanted accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, was among the slain rebels.
The district where the ambush took place lies on the border of Chhattisgarh.
(With PTI inputs)