India: Security forces kill 37 Maoists

Mumbai: A day after police recovered 16 bodies following an encounter with Maoists in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra in central India on Sunday, the Commando-60 force of Gadchiroli found 15 more bodies.

In another operation in the Kapewancha area of Rajaram Khandla post on Monday, six Naxals, two men and four women, were killed and their bodies recovered. The tally of slain Maoists stands at 37.

“In the operation by C-60 squad in Kasanasur jungle area, 16 bodies of Naxals [9 men and 7 women] were recovered on April 22,” said a police official at the Gadchiroli control room. More bodies are being recovered from one or two places where the encounter took place, he added.

Security forces recovered 15 bodies from the Indravati river on Tuesday and a search is under way for more bodies and weapons is under way. This is said to be one of the biggest and successful operations of the police in recent times.

Maharashtra Director General of Police Satish Mathur said the massive operation against the Naxals was a result of “accurate and specific” intelligence, low morale of Naxals and divisions in their ranks.

The anti-Naxal elite C-60 force of Gadchiroli police on Sunday led the operations in the forests of Kaswapur in south of the district, on the border of Maharashtra and Chhatisgarh, some 1,000 km from the state capital Mumbai. With information that the extremists were to hold a meeting, the combing operation on Sunday was carried out between 10 and 11 am and continued till 1.30 pm in the forested area. After a four-hour gun battle, some 16 Maoist militants were killed but police believed an unknown number were shot as they tried to escape into the Indravati river. Several bloated bodies were pulled out of the river today.

Who is a Naxal?

A Naxal or Naxalite is a member of the Community Party of India (Maoist) and the word Naxal derives from the name of the village Naxabari in West Bengal where the movement had its origin in the 1960s. The far-left radicals have had their presence in the less developed areas of eastern India, as in Maharashtra, Chhatisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Telangana.

Several security personnel have been killed in conflicts with the Naxals in the past.


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