June 5 Chhattisgarh encounter: 6 slain Naxalites carried total bounty of Rs 38 lakh, say cops

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Jagdalpur, Jun 6 (PTI) Six Naxalites killed in an encounter with security forces in Narayanpur in Chhattisgarh were dreaded members of the outlawed movement and carried a cumulative reward of Rs 38 lakh on their heads, police officials said on Saturday.

The encounter took place near Gobel and Thulthuli villages under Orcha police station limits on Friday. While police had earlier said seven Naxalites were killed, they later revised the toll to six, including three women.

The dead ultras belong to military company number 6 of the PLGA and east Bastar division formations of the proscribed Communist Party of India (Maoist), a police official said.

"The operation involving separate teams of security personnel was launched late night on June 6 in the on the border of Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Dantewada and Bastar districts based on inputs about the presence of Maoists of PLGA military company no. 6 and east Bastar division formations," Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) Sundarraj P said in a press conference here.

Personnel belonging to the police's District Reserve Guard from four districts, the 45th battalion of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and 95th battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPD) were involved in the operation, he said.

"At around 3 pm on Friday, Maoists opened fire on security personnel in the forest near Bhatbeda-Battekal and Chhotetondebeda villages. The intermittent cross firing between separate teams of security personnel and Naxalites lasted for a long time following which Maoists escaped into the dense forest taking cover of a hill," the IG said.

During the search of the site, bodies of six Naxalites clad in 'uniform' were recovered from different places along with two .303 rifles, one .315 bore rifle, 10 BGL (barrel grenade launcher) shells, one SLR magazine, a cooker bomb, five bags and a huge cache of explosives, medicines as well as items of daily use, Sundarraj said.

Blood stains were found at several places in the area, which show some other Naxalites were either killed or injured in the encounter, he added.

Four of the six slain ultras were identified as Masiya alias Mesiya Mandavi (32), sniper team commander and platoon no. 2 section 'A' commander, Ramesh Korram (29), deputy commander, Sanni alias Sundari, party member and Sajanti Poyam, who was member in PLGA company no. 6 under east Bastar division of Maoists, the IG said.

"These four were carrying a reward of Rs 8 lakh each on their heads. The remaining two were identified as Jailal Salaam, who was active as Bayanar area committee member and carried a reward of Rs 5 lakh on his head, and Janani alias Janni (28) with a bounty of Rs 1 lakh on his head," he said.

IG Sundarraj said Assistant Sub Inspector Kachru Ram Korram (45), constables Manglu Ram Kumeti (47) and Bharat Singh Dharal (23) sustained injuries in the encounter and were airlifted to Raipur for advanced treatment and their condition was stated to be out of danger.

"This operation is so far the biggest attack by security forces on company no. 6, which is considered a pillar of Naxalites' attacking force, Bayanar area committee and Aamdai area committee of the Maoists. It has created an atmosphere of fear among the Naxalites in east Bastar division, which is considered their strong formation," Sundarraj said.

Following the operation, the Naxalite leadership active in the border areas of Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Dantewada and Bastar district are reportedly blaming the villagers and their lower cadres, he added.

The main objective is to protect people living in remote forests and difficult geographical conditions in Bastar division from Maoist ideology so that development and peace can be established in the region, Bastar and Dantewada Superintendents of Police Shalabh Sinha and Gaurav Rai said in the press conference.

The two SPs appealed to ultras to abandon violence and join the mainstream.

So far this year, 123 Naxalites have been killed and 136 firearms recovered in 71 encounters in Bastar division, comprising Kanker, Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Bastar, Bijapur, Dantewada and Sukma districts, police said.

During the same period, 339 Naxalites have surrendered in the division, they said. PTI TKP BNM