At least 26 Naxals have been eliminated in an encounter with the C-60 unit of Maharashtra Police in the jungles of Gyarapatti in Gadchiroli district on Saturday. Four jawans also suffered injuries in the encounter.
The district, which lies on the border of Chhattisgarh, is over 900 km away from Mumbai. The operation in Gyarahbatti forests of Dhanora tehsil was still on and the number of casualties might increase, the senior police official said.
"26 Naxals have been eliminated in an encounter with the C-60 unit of Maharashtra Police in the jungles of Gyarapatti in Gadchiroli district today. Three jawans have suffered injuries in the encounter," Gadchiroli SP Ankit Goel said.
The encounter took place near Mardintola village in the morning when naxals fired on a search team of the police, he said. The four injured police personnel were airlifted by chopper to Nagpur for treatment, the official said.
A commando team of the police had specific intelligence about the movement of ultras from forests of Chhattisgarh into Gadchiroli and was out on a combing operation when the gun-battle started, he said.
Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil, "I'm aware of reports about the death of a top Naxal commander along with 25 others in an anti-Naxal operation in Gadchiroli today. Verification of the Naxals eliminated is being done, will not take the name until it is done."