Sukma, Chhattisgarh, Fifteen Naxals were today shot dead and two others, including a woman, arrested during an encounter with security personnel between Konta and Gollapalli near Chhattisgarh’s Sukma District, police said.
In separate press conferences in Raipur and Jagdalpur, Additional Director General of Police (Naxal Operation) DM Awasthi and Bastar Inspector General of Police Vivekanand said that the encounter is continuing at another place in the same region.
Security personnel – who had set out on search in the area yesterday – stormed into three Naxal camps at Nalka Town between Konta and Gollapalli. The ultras escaped from the scene after an hour-long gunfight.
Police have recovered 15 bodies from the spot. Deva, who carried a reward of Rs 5 lakh, and an injured woman rebel were arrested. Besides, four improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and 16 weapons were seized.
Mr Awasthi said that for the first time, security personnel carried out the operation nearly 20 km deep inside the forests. He said that Maoists considered the region to be extremely safe. He expected that important Naxals leaders had been slain. However, the situation would be clear only after the deceased are identified.
He said that the arrested ultras had provided important information. More details pertaining to the operation would be known after security personnel returned. He denied that foreign-manufactured weapons were seized from the spot.
Mr Awasthi said that an encounter is continuing at another place. He refused to provide further details citing security reasons. Security personnel have left along with bodies of Naxals. Additional police force have been dispatched to the scene.