Seven Naxalites killed in encounter with security forces in Chhattisgarh

Narayanpur, May 23 (PTI) Seven Naxalites were killed in an encounter with security forces in the forest along the border of Narayanpur and Bijapur districts of Chhattisgarh on Thursday, police said.

The gunfight broke out around 11 am when a joint team of security personnel was out on an anti-Naxal operation, Narayanpur Superintendent of Police (SP) Prabhat Kumar said.

The operation, involving personnel of the District Reserve Guard from Dantewada, Narayanpur and Bastar districts, Bastar Fighters and Special Task Force — all units of state police — was launched on May 21 based on inputs about the presence of cadres from the Maoists’ Indravati Area Committee and Platoon No 16 in the forests of Abhujmad, he said.

The exchange of fire broke out when security personnel were cordoning off the forest on Bijapur-Narayanpur border on Thursday and the intermittent firing lasted till evening, he said.

The bodies of seven Naxalites in ‘uniform’ and as many weapons were recovered from the encounter site afterwards, the SP added.

A search operation was still underway in the area, he said.

Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai hailed security forces and asserted that his government has been strongly fighting against Naxalism.

“7 Naxalites killed in an encounter with security forces in the border area of Narayanpur-Bijapur district. Certainly security forces have achieved great success. I salute their courage. Our government has been fighting strongly against Naxalism. Our aim is to eliminate Naxalism from the state,” Sai wrote on his ‘X’ handle.

With Thursday’s incident, as many as 112 Naxalites have been killed so far this year in separate encounters with security forces in the state.

Ten Naxalites, including three women, were killed in an encounter with security personnel in a forest along the border of Narayanpur and Kanker districts on April 30. On April 16, security forces had gunned down 29 Naxalites during an exchange of fire in Kanker district, according to police.

On May 10, police said, 12 Naxalites were eliminated in a gunbattle near Pidia village in Bijapur district. However, local villagers and activists alleged that those killed near Pidia were not Naxalites and the encounter was a staged one.

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