Nagpur, Jan. 20: Six Maoists, including a divisional committee member, were killed in a planned strike late last night by commandos, Gadchiroli police said today, claiming a major success that came on the heels of a stepped-up intelligence drive.
Police sources in the Maharashtra district said the rebels, who included two women, were ambushed past midnight in Govindgaon village in Aheri sub-division, 250km from Nagpur, in the southern part of Gadchiroli where the Maoist movement is well entrenched.
“It was an ambush based on intelligence input,” deputy inspector-general (Gadchiroli-Gondia) R. Kadam said.
Kadam said the C-60 commandos of the anti-Naxalite operations lay in wait till the rebels had finished a meeting with villagers around midnight. They opened fire at the rebels as soon as they came out in the open. “There was no casualty or injury on our side,” he added.
At least two Maoists are believed to have been injured.
Sources in the district police said the operation was significant as Maoists dominate the area. It is also where the rebels have been holding meetings to counter the “jan-jagran” (public awareness) rallies being hosted by the police all over the district.
Last Sunday, Maoists had torched 27 vehicles of a private company engaged in the construction of the Gadchiroli-Rajnandgaon state highway in the northern parts of the district, in a wake-up call for the police after a long lull.
Kadam said the ambush was a huge morale booster, given the intense drive by the Maoists over the past year or so to target local elected representatives in south Gadchiroli, particularly in Aheri and Bhamragarh tehsils.
All the bodies were brought to Aheri police headquarters in the district, police sources said.