At least 12 Maoist rebels, including top commanders killed in an ‘encounter’ in Chattisgarh

The killed include six rebel women also, say officials  

Hyderabad:  At least 12 Maoists were killed in an ‘encounter’ in Chattisgarh by a joint team of Greyhounds and special police personnel.

The encounter took place near Pujarikanker in Chattisgarh, 30 kms from Venkatapuram in Bhadradri Kothagudem district of Telangana.

Officials said at least 12 Maoists, including six women, were killed in the incident while Greyhounds Constable Sushil Kumar, who was severely injured, died while being airlifted to Bhadrachalam hospital in Telangana.

Meanwhile, revolutionary writer and poet P Varavara Rao condemned the killing of the Maoists. “It is not an encounter. Police caught hold of these Maoists, tortured and shot them dead. An inquiry should be ordered,” he said.

The ‘encounter’, which is one of the biggest in recent times, started at around 4 pm on Thursday, when on a tip off about a Maoist meeting, the Greyhounds of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, assited by cops from Chattisgarh and Maharashtra, started the operation.

Sources told the Indian Express, that combing team came across 50-100 Maoists in a forest, near Pujarikanker. While the team asked them to surrender, the Maoists opened fire instead.

Security forces also suspect the two top commanders are among the killed. All the Maoists are suspected to be from the Telangana State Committee.

Cops suspect that those present at the meeting included Hari Bhushan, secretary and a senior member of the Telangana State Committee, and Bade Chokka Rao alias Damodar, another senior leader who is in-charge of Karimnagar-Khammam-Warangal in Telangana. Damodar had escaped from an encounter in September 2015 in Warangal.

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