Two naxals, carrying cash rewards on their heads, were gunned down in an encounter with security forces in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district on Thursday, police said.
The shootout occurred at around 2.30 pm in a forest near Neelguda village under Gidam police station area, where a
team of the District Reserve Guard (DRG) was out on a counter-insurgency operation, Dantewada superintendent of
police Abhishek Pallava told PTI.
The operation was launched based on a specific input about the presence of around 20 ultras led by hardcore naxal
Mallesh, commander of platoon no. 16 of Maoists, he said.
Following a brief exchange of fire when the security forces personnel tried to zero in on the ultras, they escaped
into the dense forest, he said. During a search of the encounter spot, the security forces found the bodies of Rishu Istam, deputy commander of platoon no. 16 and Maata, Pidiyakot Janmilita commander, he said.
While Istam carried a reward of Rs 8 lakh on his head, Mata had Rs 1 lakh on his head, the official said. The security personnel also recovered two country-made firearms, a 5 kg IED, two kit bags and items of daily use were
recovered from the spot, he added.