Three naxals, including a woman, with cash rewards on their heads, were arrested following an encounter with security forces in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district, police said on Friday. Two of them were allegedly involved in a deadly Naxal attack on police personnel at Nilawaya village in the district in October last year, they said.
The three - Hadma Madkam (28), Kosi alias Shanti (28) - the woman cadre - and Deva Madkam (25) were nabbed from a forested hill between Mirchipara and Nahadi villages under the Aranpur police station area on Thursday evening, said Dantewada superintendent of police Abhishek Pallava.
Acting on a tip-off about the presence of at least 24 naxals led by 'commander' Gudadhur in the forests along the border of Dantewada-Sukma districts, the District Reserve Guard (DRG), its women wing 'Danteshwari Ladake' (fighters), the special task force (STF), the Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and the local police launched an operation, he said.
"The patrolling team was combing a forest on the hill between Mirchipara and Nahadi when it came under naxal fire," he said.
While other ultras fled following retaliatory fire from the security forces, three naxals were nabbed, Pallava added.
With a reward of Rs 3 lakh on his head, Hadma Madkam, the local guerrilla squad's 'deputy commander', had allegedly carried out several attacks on security forces since 2014, Pallava said.
Shanti, a member of platoon no. 26 of local naxal unit, and Deva Madkam, head of the Dandakaranya Adivasi Kisan Majdoor Sangthan - a front organisation of Maoists - were carrying rewards of Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh, respectively, he said.
Hadma Madkam and Deva Madkam were also allegedly involved in the October 2018 Nilawaya attack, in which three policemen and a Doordarshan cameraman were killed, the SP said.
Moreover, Shanti was allegedly involved in several attacks on police teams and triggering IED blasts in the area since 2009, he said.
Live rounds of AK-47, SLR and Insas rifles, switches used for triggering IED blasts, Maoist uniforms, literature and detonators were recovered from the arrested rebels, he added.