In a major blow to the red-rebels, police forces gunned down 10 Naxals on Thursday after a fierce gun battle in a dense forested patch of Maoist-hit Bijapur district, about 480 km south of Chhattisgarh Capital, Raipur.

 Director General of Police DM Awasthi confirmed that bodies of 10 ultras clad in Maoists uniform were recovered from the encounter site. 12 firearms were also seized.

“Security forces had received specific intelligence input about the presence of Maad DVC (Divisional Committee Member) Rajman Mandavi and Sukhlal along with 40 to 50 armed Naxals in the forest of Bhairamgarh during a training for Naxal-militia members,” the DGP claimed in a crowded Press conference.

 He said the operation was carried out by a team of about 200 Special Task Force (STF) and District Reserve Group (DRG) personnel deep in Abujhmad region.

“It was at Borga forest in Talibod village about 80 km from Bhairamgarh police station where police confronted Naxals resulting in the exchange of fire. The encounter lasted for about two-and-half hours. Later on, while combing the area, bodies of 10 Naxals along with 11 muzzle loading guns and one 315 bore revolver were found,’’ Awasthi said.  

 The DGP said between 2016 and 2018, about 575 encounters took place between Maoists and police. During the same period, 336 bodies of Naxals were recovered, said Awasthi.

In past three years, 3,150 insurgents were arrested and 818 firearms were seized from their possession. Overall 829 land mines were also seized during the same period.