Naxal commander killed in encounter

CHANDRAPUR: Top Naxal leader Nagesh, commander-in-chief of North Gadchiroli-Gondia division of CPI (Maoist), was killed along with two other Naxalites in a fierce encounter at Khobramendha jungle around 20 days back.

SP, Gadchiroli, Viresh Prabhu on Monday confirmed the death of Nagesh on the basis of Naxal pamphlets recovered from Malewada and termed it as major jolt to Naxal movement in Gadchiroli.

The encounter also claimed the life of CRPF jawan Mahendra Singh and left five others injured.

The two other slain rebels were platoon party member Manglu and PLGA member Manju, both 17. While Manglu belonged to Bastar area in Chhattisgarh, Manju hailed from Pipli (Burgi) village in Etapalli tehsil.

Nagesh alias Shankar Tukka Pungati (38) had clubbed four different Naxal dalams and had laid ambush on a patrolling party of CRPF in the hilly terrain of Khobramendha jungles on April 19. The encounter that began at around 12.30pm lasted about four hours.

Security forces had recovered three .303 rifles, two grenades and 29 live cartridges from the encounter site. Though cops later claimed that three to five Naxals might have been killed in encounter, no dead body was recovered.

However, pamphlets of Maharashtra State Committee of CPI (Maoist) recovered from Malewada a couple of days back claimed that three Naxalites including Nagesh were killed in the Khobramendha encounter. “We will avenge each drop of our comrades by spoiling Operation Green Hunt,” the pamphlet added.

“Nagesh was mastermind of several attacks on security forces. He was commander-in-chief of the North Gadchiroli-Gondia division and his death could be termed as major jolt to the Naxal movement here,” SP Viresh Prabhu told reporters. Nagesh hailed from Pipli (Burgi) village in Etapalli tehsil of Gadchiroli. He was part of the Maoist movement for more than 15 years and was involved in dozens of attacks on police parties, arson, blasts etc in Gadchiroli, Gondia, Rajnandgaon and Balaghat districts. As many as 98 offences are registered against Nagesh in Gadchiroli district alone. “The death of two juvenile Naxalites proves that Naxals are enticing the juvenile youths to join the movement,” the SP added.

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