RAIPUR: Eight Maoists were gunned down by the security forces in a fierce encounter in the conflict zone of Bastar, south Chhattisgarh on Thursday. The gun-battle took place along the border areas of two strife-torn districts of Dantewada and Bijapur about 400 km south of Raipur.
"Based on the intelligence inputs about the movement of Maoists in the region, a joint team of Special Task Force (STF) and District Reserve Guards (DRG) from Dantewada district left on a search operation. The rebels opened fire of troopers and in an ensued heavy exchange fire that took place close to Timinar and Pusanar villages along the border of Dantewada and Bijapur district, eight rebels including 4 women Naxalites were shot dead. Their bodies have been recovered", Deputy Inspector General of police (anti-Maoist operation) P Sunderraj told the New Indian Express.
However, there was no report of any casualty sustained by the forces. "It's a major success. Our men are safe", DIG added. The reinforcement was rushed to the area to further intensify the search operation. The forces also recovered two INSAS rifles, two .303 rifles, few muzzle loading weapons and other ammunition from the spot.
With the recovery of a couple of modern weapons, the police believed senior Maoists leaders were among those killed in the gunfight. So far 68 Maoists were killed this year in Chhattisgarh., which continues to be hardest-hit by Naxal violence for the past over three decades. With the strategic deployment of massive forces in the state, the government has set a deadline of 2022 to eliminate the left-wing extremism from the state. As many as 14 districts of Chhattisgarh have the presence of Maoists.