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Chhattisgarh: 29 Maoists killed, three jawans injured in encounter in Kanker ahead of Lok Sabha Polls

The encounter broke out in the forest area of the Chhotebethiya police station limits. This was the highest number of fatalities suffered by Naxalites in a single encounter in the history of the state's fight against Left Wing Extremism.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan Kanker (Chhattisgarh) Updated on: April 17, 2024 6:21 IST
Chhattisgarh encounter, Kanker
Image Source : PTI/FILE The image has been used for representative purposes only.

At least 29 Maoists were killed and at least three jawans also sustained injuries during an encounter in Chhattisgarh's Kanker district on Tuesday. The incident comes just days before the commencement of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Speaking to the news agency ANI, senior police officer IK Elesela said that the encounter is still underway in the region. 

The voting in Kanker is scheduled to take place on April 26.

Top Naxal commander killed

SP Indra Kalyan Elisela confirmed the death of Naxalites in the encounter, including a prominent Naxal commander named Shankar Rao. He had a reward of Rs 25 lakh on his head. Additionally, a significant cache of weapons, including four AK-47 rifles, was seized during the operation.

The gunfight took place at around 2 pm in Hapatola forest between Binagunda and Koronar villages under Chhotebethiya police station limits, when a joint team of the Border Security Force (BSF) and the state's District Reserve Guard (DRG) was out on an anti-Naxal operation, a senior police official said.

"Today a team was sent to the Kanker district after receiving the info of the presence of senior cadres of CPI Maoist. During the search, an encounter broke out between the security personnel and Naxals. Till now the bodies of 29 CPI Maoist cadres have been recovered... Huge arms and ammunition have been recovered... All the injured security personnel are under treatment...This could be seen as one of the biggest encounters till now in the state..." said IG Bastar P Sunddaraj.

Amit Shah hails security personnel for their bravery 

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah hailed all the security personnel who made this operation successful with their bravery and wished the speedy recovery of the jawans who were injured.

"Today, a large number of Naxalites have been killed in the operation of security forces in Chhattisgarh. Naxalism is the biggest enemy of development, peace and a bright future of youth. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, we are determined to free the country from the sting of Naxalism," Shah wrote on X. 

"Due to the aggressive policy of the government and the efforts of the security forces, today Naxalism has been reduced to a small area. Soon Chhattisgarh and the entire country will be completely Naxal free," he added. 

Raman Singh's reaction

Reacting to the incident, former Chhattisgarh Assembly Speaker Raman Singh termed it as the "biggest incident" in the history of the state and the country. "I have congratulated Home Minister Amit Shah whose decisive policies have kept the morale of the security forces high. I congratulate Vijay Sharma and his team, police personnel, and DRG personnel, and I even talked to the SP to convey my regards to all those involved in the operation. This is a historical success and we have moved in the direction of getting rid of Naxalism in the state," he added. 

ALSO READ: Chhattisgarh: 26 Naxalites surrender in Dantewada ahead of Lok Sabha polls in Bastar region on April 19

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