Naxal-police encounter in Gadchiroli, 2 cops injured

Two police jawans were injured, one of them seriously, in an encounter with the naxalites of CPI (Maoist) near Jimalgatta on Allapalli-Sironcha road in tribal district of Gadchiroli in eastern part of Maharashtra on Friday morning.

According to reports this evening, the incident occurred when an anti-naxalite squad of C-60 commandos went to the forest area to flush out the left-wing extremists who had kidnapped a villager of Govindgaon under Aheri tahsil on Thursday night.

Sources said that Suresh Sidam of Govindgaon had gone to a nearby village, Enkabanda,  to attend a peace meeting. Suresh was kidnapped by the naxals when he was returning to Govindgaon after attending the meeting, organised by the villagers of Enkabanda against naxalite menace in the area.

When the news reached at Govindgaon, Sidam’s family members informed the police and sought their intervention.

A team of armed anti-naxalite squad of C-60 immediately left for the Jimalgatta forest on Friday morning and launched a search operation when the lurking rebels opened indiscriminate firing. The police retaliated and sought additional forces from nearby police stations. Sources said the encounter lasted over an hour and the rebels retreated following the heavy gunfire.

Two police jawans were injured in the firing. They were identified as: Suresh Gawde (32) and Kankaiya Durgam (30). They were rushed to the government civil hospital at Chandrapur where Gawde’s condition was reported to be serious.

The police claimed that bloodstains of naxalites were found at several spots, suggesting that at least four-five rebels could have been injured in the exchange of fire. The police also recovered naxalite literature, a cache of arms and ammunition from the site.

“We have sent additional police forces in different directions to flush out the naxalites and cordoned off the area,” Viresh Prabhu, the SP of Gadchiroli district said. More details are awaited.

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