RAIPUR: Four Naxals, including three women, were killed in an encounter with security forces in Chhattisgarh's Dhamtari district on Saturday, police said.
The encounter broke out early morning in the forest of Sendbahra village under Mechka police station limits when security forces were out on an anti-Naxal operation, Director General of Police (DGP) D M Awasthi told reporters here.
Based on a tip-off provided by the Special Intelligence Branch, a joint team of the Special Task Force (STF) and the District Force (DF) launched the operation in Mechka area -- around 130 km from here, he said.
"The encounter broke out when the patrolling team was advancing through Sendbahra forests. Under fire, the Naxals fled. During a search, bodies of four ultras, including three uniform-clad women, were recovered," he added.
"A 303 rifle, five 12-bore guns and a country-made revolver were recovered, besides Maoist literature and items of daily use," the DGP said.
The slain Naxals were identified as Pramila alias Rajula, Raju, Manjula alias Durga and Munni alias Rashmi, Awasthi said.
Rajula was a member of Sitanadi Area Committee of Maoists, Raju was part of Nagri Area Committee, and Manjula and Munni were members of Gobra local organisation squad.
Pramila and Raju carried a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh each on their heads, while Manjula and Munni carried Rs 1 lakh each, the DGP said.
He said police have been undertaking operations over the last few days in Mainpur-Sitanadi (Gariyaband) and Nagri-Sihawa (Dhamtari) areas, close to the Odisha border.
On June 18, Sitanadi Area Committee secretary, Seema, who carried a cash reward of Rs 8 lakh on her head, was killed in an encounter with the STF, he added.
Similar operations resulted in the arrest of four senior Maoist cadres operating on the Chhattisgarh-Odisha border, Awasthi said.
With this encounter, 34 Naxals have been gunned down in separate operations so far this year, he said.