Thirteen naxalites belonging to the Kasansur dalam were killed in an encounter at Gadchiroli district’s Paidy jungle, Maharashtra government said on Friday.
“Today morning, police and naxalites had an encounter in which 13 naxalites were killed and their bodies have been recovered, out of which six are male and seven female,” said State Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil, who was on his official tour of Gadchiroli on Friday.
According to the government, the C-60 squad of Gadchiroli police had received a tip that a group of Naxalites was expected at the Paody jungle. “Gadchiroli district is known for Tendu leaves collection which is used in beedi production. Naxalites recover extortion money out of this trade. The meeting between the Tendu leaf contractors and naxalites was planned and the C-60 squad received the tip of the same,” said the Minister.
Ankit Goyal, Superintendent of Police, Gadchiroli district told The Hindu that police had gone on Thursday night to the meeting site after receiving the tip from its informers. “We have covered them and realising this, they fired at us. Our team retaliated and 13 naxalites were killed. We have recovered their bodies and soon more information will be made available,” he said.
The government said police has recovered AK-47 rifles, an SLR gun, carbine, .303, 12 bore guns, explosives from the site.
“The naxalite movement is anti-democratic and poses a serious threat to India’s sovereignty. The police force is capable to fight against them,” said Mr Walse-Patil.
The Minister added that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will be coordinating with his Chhattisgarh counterpart Bhupesh Baghel regarding the measures to be taken to stop cross-border activities of naxalites and to enhance surveillance.