MUMBAI: In a major anti-Maoist operation, at least 26 suspected rebels, including women and activists, were killed in the Mardintola jungle of Gadchiroli district on Saturday, November 13, 2021. The operation was carried out about 250 kilometres from Nagpur bordering Chhattisgarh.
According to preliminary reports, the encounter happened when jawans of the C-60 force, an elite anti-Maoist squad of the police, were patrolling the area. The left-wing extremists who were hiding in the jungle fired on the jawans, who retaliated immediately.
Unconfirmed reports said a senior Maoist leader, Milind Teltumbde, was killed in the gunfight. Three security personnel were injured and they were airlifted to Nagpur for medical treatment. The Gadchiroli police control room said the encounter was still going on between the police and the Maoists.
Additional police forces were already sent to the spot after the incident, Gadchiroli superintendent of police Ankit Goyal said. The death toll of the Maoists could increase. The police claimed to have recovered huge arms and ammunition from this operation site.
With 26 Maoist casualties, Saturday’s encounter is the second biggest in Gadchiroli’s history. On April 23, 2018, the Gadchiroli police had gunned down 40 Maoists in two different skirmishes. While 34 were killed in the Boria-Kasnasur area of Etapalli tehsil, six from the same group were gunned down while they were reportedly on the run in Aheri tehsil.