16 Maoists killed in Maharashtra

The operation is being spearheaded by C-60, a specialised unit of the Anti-Naxalite Operations (ANO) and the 9th battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). PTI File Photo

At least 16 Maoists were gunned down in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district on Sunday.

Two top Maoist commanders  —  Sainath and Shrinu — against whom more than 70 offences each, are lodged, were among those who killed in the nearly daylong operation. 

The encounter took place in the forests around Tadgaon village in Bhamragad taluka of Gadchiroli district in Vidarbha region, nearly 800 km from the state capital of Mumbai.

The encounter site is along the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border.

The operation is being spearheaded by C-60, a specialised unit of the Anti-Naxalite Operations (ANO) and the 9th battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

"This is one of the biggest anti-Maoist operations. So far, 16 bodies have been recovered. Combing operations are still underway," a police officer said.

A huge cache of arms and ammunition were seized from the site.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis briefed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh about the operation.

Director General of Police Satish Mathur is directly in touch with top officials like ANO's Inspector General of Police Sharad Shelar, Deputy Inspector General Ankush Shinde and Gadchiroli’s Superintendent of Police Abhinav Deshmukh.

According to reports, around 7 am, when routine operations were underway, security forces came under heavy fire, following which a massive retaliatory operation was launched.

The gun battle continued for more than five to six hours.

Combing operations are underway and forces are expanding the search area in the jungles.

"HM Shri @rajnathsingh spoke to Maharashtra CM Shri @Dev_Fadnavis regarding the operation against the Left Wing Extremists in Gadchiroli district. The Chief Minister has apprised him of the situation and also briefed him on the details of the operation," the home ministry tweeted.
 

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