12 Maoists gunned down in encounter


Hyderabad: In a major success to security forces engaged in anti-Maoist operations, a joint team of Greyhounds and special police personnel shot dead at least 12 Maoists in an encounter near Pujarikanker in Chhattisgarh.

The operation was conducted 30 km from Venkatapuram in Bhadradri Kothagudem district of Telangana. The encounter started at around 4 pm Thursday when the Greyhounds of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, assisted by special police personnel from Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, began combing operations following a tip-off about a Maoist meeting.

Sources said the combing team came across 50-100 Maoists in a forest, near Pujarikanker. While the team asked them to surrender, the Maoists opened fire instead. Officials said at least 12 Maoists, including six women, were killed in the incident while Greyhounds Constable Sushil Kumar, who was severely injured, died while being airlifted to Bhadrachalam hospital in Telangana.

Two AK 47s, among other weapons, were found at the encounter spot. Security forces suspect top Maoist leaders must be among those dead who are yet to be identified. The bodies have been airlifted to Bhadrachalam Government Hospital for postmortem and identification. All the Maoists are suspected to be from the Telangana State Committee.

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