After fifteen bodies of Maoists, who were killed in an encounter with C-60 squad of commandos of the Maharashtra Police, were recovered on Tuesday, 24 April, the police discovered two more bodies from the Indravati River on Wednesday, taking the total number of casualties of Naxals in the Gadchiroli encounter to 39.
"In the operation by C-60 squad in Kasanasur jungle area, 16 bodies of Naxals (9 men and 7 women) were recovered on 22 April," a senior police official had said on Tuesday.
"Due to heavy rain and paucity of manpower, search was stopped. Yesterday, an operation was launched to search for bodies in Indravati river and 15 more bodies were recovered," the official had said.
In another operation in Kapewancha area of Rajaram Khandla post on Tuesday, six Naxals were killed and their bodies recovered. These include two men and four women,the official said.
Maharashtra Director General of Police Satish Mathur said the massive operation against Naxals was a result of "accurate and specific" intelligence, low morale of Naxals and divisions in their ranks.
A day after eliminating at least 16 Naxals in Karnasur jungle, the police in Gadchiroli district of eastern Maharashtra killed six rebels in a fresh encounter on Monday, 23 April, a top official told PTI.
The gun-battle took place in Rajaram Khandla jungle in Jimalgatta area of the district, with the elite C-60 commando team of the district police being involved in the operation.
On Sunday, in what was touted to be the region’s ‘biggest’ Naxal encounter, 16 Naxalites were killed in an encounter with police commandos and CRPF personnel in Gadchiroli district in east Maharashtra. A C-60 commando team was part of Sunday’s operation as well.
According to the state police, the encounter broke out in the Kasansur forest in Bhamragad and went on for around 90 minutes.
On Monday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh called up the director general of Maharashtra police Satish Mathur and congratulated the force for its success during the encounter, reported PTI.
During the telephonic conversation, the home minister praised the Maharashtra police for the success against the Naxals in Gadchiroli, which is said to be one of the worst Maoist-hit areas in the country.
Two 17-Yr-Old Girls Among the 16 Killed
The police on Monday also said that they have identified 11 of the 16 Naxals who were killed in the Sunday encounter.
Two of the Naxals killed were 17-year-old girls, PTI reported.
The identified Naxals were carrying rewards of Rs 82 lakh on their heads cumulatively, Gadchiroli police said in a press release.
32-year-old Sainath alias Dolesh Madhi Atram was one of the prominent leaders among those killed, the police pointed out.
Out of 16 bodies recovered, nine were male and remaining were female. They had modern weaponry.Sharad Shelar
The DGP Satish Mathur called the operation on Sunday the “biggest success ever” in the area by an anti-naxal force, with no major injuries on their side.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)
(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit Send.)