A fierce gunbattle took place between security personnel and Naxalites in Sukma district in Chhattisgarh on Saturday, with officials saying at least four to six ultras were either killed or injured though no bodies have been found at the site.
Naxalites managed to drag those injured or killed into the forests, these officials said.
The encounter broke out this morning in the forest of village Chhotekedwal, located in a Maoist stronghold on the border of Chintagufa and Kistaram police station limits, when security personnel were out on an anti-Naxalite operation, a police official said.
Personnel belonging to the state police's District Reserve Guard (DRG) and the elite Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) of the Central Reserve Police Force were involved in the operation, he said.
"The operation was launched based on inputs about the presence of Divisional Committee member and in charge of Kistaram area committee of Maoists Raju and in-charge of platoon number 8 Masa along with 30-35 cadres in Chhotekedwal, Badekedwal and Singhanmadgu villages to observe the outlawed movement's martyrs' week," he said.
The Naxalites opened fire on security personnel and faced retaliation, he said, adding that the one-hour gunbattle resulted in four to six ultras getting injured or killed.
"The ultras managed to drag the injured or dead into the forests. A search operation is underway in the area," the official said.
Naxalites observe 'martyrs' week' from July 28 to August 3 to mark the deaths of their colleagues in action.
The martyrs' week sees stepping up of security in several Naxalite-affected areas, particularly seven districts of Bastar division, namely Dantewada, Bijapur, Bastar, Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Sukma and Kanker, as ultras plan various subversive activities to damage public property and target police and paramilitary personnel during this period.
Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.