RAIPUR: A Maoist deputy commander was today killed in an exchange of fire with security forces in the dense forests of Chhattisgarh's insurgency-hit Bastar region.
"The skirmish took place this morning between a joint team of security personnel and ultras in Modenar forest under Darbha police station limits," Inspector General of Police, Bastar Range, S R P Kalluri told PTI.
The encounter took place when a composite squad of District Reserve Group (DRG) and District Force and Chhattisgarh Armed Force was carrying out a search operation in Pakhnar police outpost area under Darbha region, 350 km from the state capital Raipur, the IG said.
While they were cordoning off an area in the Modenar forests, a group of rebels reportedly belonging to Katekalyan LOS (local organisation squad) of Maoists, opened indiscriminate fire on them, resulting in a brief exchange of fire, he said.
Later, body of a rebel clad in uniform, along with a country-made SBML (single barrel muzzle loading) gun, tiffin bomb, pamphlets, bags, and other items of daily use were recovered, he said. The killed Naxal was identified as Sukhram, who was deputy commander of Katekalyan LOS, he said.
At least 18 FIRs were registered against him in 2014, 2015 and 2016 in Bastar district, he said. Of these FIRs, four were related to causing damage to railway tracks and railway station, including the sabotage of Kumarsadra railway station on May 13, he said.
He said following the Kumarsadra sabotage, the police had launched a series of operations in the area contiguous to the railway track. The joint squad was operating in the area for the past nine days, he said.