Seven Maoists, including five women, were gunned down in an encounter with the police in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district on Wednesday, an official said.

The skirmish took place around 7 am at a forest in Kalled village, about 15 kms north of Zinganoor outpost in Sironcha tehsil of Gadchiroli, when a squad of C-60 commandos (Maharashtra police’s special anti-Maoist unit) was out on anti-Naxal operation, a senior police official told PTI.

The patrolling team was cordoning-off the forest patch near Kalled, which borders neighbouring Chhattisgarh, when the exchange of fire took place between the two sides, he said.

“Seven Maoists, including five women, were killed in the encounter while some weapons were also recovered from the spot,” the official said.

 

Details of the extremists killed were awaited even as the security forces launched combing operations to find others who might be hiding in the forests, in Sironcha sub-district region.

The Maoist groups are currently observing their annual ‘Peoples Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA)’ week from December 2-8, when violent activities are known to escalate in the Dhanora and Bhamragad sub-districts and surroundings.

Since the last week of November, Maoists have struck on several occasions and killed at least five civilians, suspecting them of being police informers. They also gunned down two security personnel.

As a precautionary measure, top officials of the anti-Naxal Operations, Gadchiroli Police, and other allied forces are camping in the worst-affected regions since the past fortnight.

(With agency inputs)