Thirteen Naxalites including three women killed in encounter

At least 13 Naxalites including three women have been killed in an encounter with security forces in dense forests in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district, police said on Wednesday.

Three more bodies were found in the morning at the site of the encounter which lasted for nearly 12 hours, said an official.

Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai hailed the security personnel, stating that the fight against the Naxalites has been intensified since the BJP government came to power in the state last year.

As many as 46 Naxalites have been killed so far this year in separate encounters with security forces in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region which comprises seven districts including Bijapur.

Bijapur district comes under the Bastar Lok Sabha constituency which will go to polls in the first phase of the general elections on April 19.

Following a tip-off about the presence of Naxalites belonging to the Peoples Liberation Guerilla Army's (PLGA) company no 2 and platoon nos 11, 12 and 13 in the interior forest under Gangaloor police station limits, an operation was launched on Monday night, Bijapur Superintendent of Police Jitendra Kumar Yadav said.

Personnel of the District Reserve Guard and Special Task Force of police, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), and its elite unit Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) were involved in the operation, he said

As the security personnel were cordoning off forests near Korcholi and Lendra villages, an exchange of fire broke out around 4.45 am on Tuesday, he said.

The gun-battle continued intermittently until 5 pm on Tuesday when the firing ceased, the SP said. While the bodies of ten Naxalites were found on the same day, three more were found on Wednesday morning.

“The identity of the slain Naxalites was yet to be ascertained, but it appears that they belonged to PLGA company no 2 and platoon no 2 of Maoists,” Yadav said.

A Light Machine Gun (LMG) with 58 rounds, a .303 rifle with 39 rounds, a .12-bore gun, three barrel grenade launchers with 17 shells, a hand grenade, an Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) shell, seven `tiffin bombs', gelatin sticks, cordex wire, safety fuses, electric wire, a laptop, walkie-talkie, solar plates, bags and items of daily use were recovered from the spot, he said.

The security forces returned safely to their base in the morning, the official added.

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