RAIPUR: Three naxals were today gunned down by security forces at separate places in Chhattisgarh's Bastar division.
While two cadres were killed in Bastar district, another was eliminated in Bijapur, police said.
In Bastar, the skirmish took place early this morning in restive Sanguel forest under Burgum police station area between a joint team of security personnel and ultras, Bastar Superintendent of Police R N Dash told PTI.
"There was input from local informers that a group of rebels was heading towards Bastanar valley after crossing Indravati river to receive a top maoist leader. The same information was also with the state intelligence branch," he said.
Acting on the inputs, a composite squad comprising District Reserve Group (DRG), Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and district force launched an anti-naxal operation in the region, located around 400 kms from here.
Security forces confronted the Maoists in the forests near Sanguel village following which a heavy gun-battle broke out.
The exchange of fire lasted for about an hour after which rebels escaped to core forest, he said.
"During searches of the area, bodies of two male Maoists, a 12 bore rifle and one SBML (single barrel muzzle loading) gun besides several other items were recovered from the spot," Dash said.
The seized items include explosives, detonators, pipe bombs, codex wire, bags, magazine pouch, battery, electric wire and others, he added.
"As per preliminary information, the naxals group reportedly belonged to Barsur Area Committee of Maoists and the same squad with which police had another exchange of firing in August last month," he said, adding that the identity of the killed ultras was being ascertained.
According to the SP, the same group had allegeldy targeted police personnel at the weekly market of Burgum on October 1, 2015 where a constable Manarau Benjam was killed.
Similarly, a rebel was killed in a separate encounter in near Rengawaya village under Bedre police station area of Bijapur.
When a joint team of the Kutru police station and DRG lead by SHO Yugal Kishore Naag was out on a search operation in Bedre region, a group of armed Maoists, hiding in the forests, opened indiscriminate fire on them, Bijapur SP K L Dhruv said.
Subsequently, security forces retaliated prompting rebels to flee from the spot, he added.
The body of a male maoist along with a 12 bore gun, two muzzle loading guns, one hand grenade, 25-30 live rounds of ammunition of 12 Bore gun, and a huge cache of explosives and daily uses items was recovered from the spot, the SP said.