Raipur: Four Naxals, including two women, were gunned down in a fierce encounter with security forces in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district Tuesday, police said.
Of the deceased, two Naxals, including a woman, were members of the military wing of Maoists and were carrying cash rewards of Rs 8 lakh each on their heads, they said.
The encounter took place at around 6 am in the forest of Karkanguda village under the Chintalnar police station area when a joint team of security forces was out on an anti-Naxal operation, Deputy Inspector General (Anti-Naxal Operations) Sundarraj P said.
The operation was launched by the 201st battalion of CoBRA, an elite unit of CRPF, and the district force on the basis of a specific input about the presence of ultras in the area, he said.
When the patrolling team was advancing through Karkanguda, around 500 km from the state capital Raipur, an exchange of fire broke out between the two sides, he said.
"After the guns fell silent, bodies of four ultras, including two women, clad in black uniform were recovered from the spot," the officer said. "Besides one Insas rifle, two .303 rifles, muzzle loading gun and a huge cache of explosives were also found," Sundarraj said.
Two of them, a male cadre identified as Dudhi Hidma, and a woman, Aayte, were active in military battalion No 1 of Maoists, which has been instrumental in carrying out several deadly attacks in South Bastar, the DIG said.
They were carrying cash rewards of Rs 8 lakh each on their heads, the officer added. The two other rebels are yet to be identified, he said.
With this action, as many as 17 Naxals have been killed so far this year in separate encounters with security forces in the state, the officer said.
Also, a total of 35 firearms have been seized in separate anti-Naxal operations since January 1, he added.
Anti-Naxal operations have been intensified in the forests of Bastar division in view of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Chhattisgarh, which has 11 Lok Sabha seats, will vote in three phases - on April 11, April 18 and April 23.
Sukma district is part of the Bastar Lok Sabha constituency, the only seat in the state which will vote in the first phase on April 11.(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)