The Central Committee Member of CPI (Maoist) and head of the newly-formed MMC zone (Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh confluence), Milind Baburao Teltumbde alias Deepak Teltumbde was among the 26 rebels killed in an encounter with Maharashtra Police on Saturday, 13 November.
The encounter took place in the deep forests near Dhanora in Gadchiroli district, Gadchiroli Superintendent of Police Ankit Goyal said.
"Around 26 Naxals have been eliminated in the encounter at multiple locations by several security forces in the region. Three security personnel have also been injured in the cross-firing. They have been airlifted by helicopter to Nagpur and admitted for treatment at a local hospital," Goyal told IANS.
The Quint has learnt that 20 male naxals and 6 female naxals were killed in the encounter. Apart from Teltumbde, the deceased included his bodyguards and Divisional Committee Members Mahesh Gota and Lokesh Madkam.
The gun-battle which started in the early hours of Saturday in the dense forest of Kolgut-Dandat was continuing till evening with at least 26 fatalities notched among the Maoists, while three security personnel were also hurt, Goyal said.
In a press conference held on Sunday, the Gadchiroli police said that the operation was planned and led by Addl Superindent of Police (Ops) Somay Munde, with the commandos of Special Operation Squads (C-60) and Special Action Group (SAG).
An intelligence officer told The Quint that the security forces were able to penetrate three to five levels of security of the CCM, which hints at locals withdrawing their support to maoists in Gadchiroli.
Gadchiroli has been an important region for supply of logistics, medicines and medical treatment and also was an important route for travel of senior cadres and new recruited cadres to go from bastar to the MMC region, the intelligence officer said.
As per initial reports received at the Gadchiroli district headquarters, the encounter was with a Dalam of the banned CPI(Maoist) and commandos of the crack C-60 unit of the Anti Naxal Operations.
Following a tip-off on Friday that some Maoists were expected to gather and plan out some activities in the region, the security forces launched search and combing operations.
(With inputs from IANS.)