15 Maoists killed in Gadchiroli
Nagpur: In the biggest anti-Naxal operation success for Gadchiroli police till date, 15 Naxals were killed in an encounter near Kasnasur village in Tadgaon area of Bhamragad tehsil on Sunday.
Among the dead are Srinu alias Vijendra Ramlu, 51, a divisional committee member from South Gadchiroli division of CPI(Maoist), and Perimili Dalam commander Sainath alias Domesh Atram, 34, who is also said to have been recently elevated as divisional committee member. Death of two DVC members in one encounter is also a record.
While Srinu had 82 serious offences registered against him, Sainath was involved in 75 various crimes, including ambushes, blasts, hit-and-run attacks through action teams and killing of alleged police informers. Deputy Inspector General of Police (Gadchiroli range) Ankush Shinde confirmed the number of casualties. "We had information about movement of Perimili Dalam in the Tadgaon area. So, we had launched an operation yesterday only. Today, around 9.30 am, an encounter ensued. We have recovered 15 bodies from the spot, which include Sainath and Srinu. This is the first time that two DVC members have been killed in one operation," agency reported Shinde as saying.
Among the dead are three women cadres. The operation was carried out by the elite C-60 commando unit of the Gadchiroli police, which comprises of 64 personnel, mostly local tribals. "Kasnasur is considered by Naxals to be a very safe resting place and is situated right on the Maharashtra side of Indravati river. Naxals generally rest at such places and immediately switch across to the other side on sensing trouble. Apparently, they were having their breakfast when the police managed to surround them from all sides and gave them no opportunity to escape. All said and done, Naxals getting trapped like this in their safe haven is very rare and definitely shows how
the police have managed to get exact intelligence and have managed to execute the plan with great precision right
inside the Naxal bastion," Shinde said. The encounter of Sainath and Sinu takes the number of DVC members killed to three, apart from 17 Naxals gunned down this year. On April 3, Sunil Kulmethe, also a member of south Gadchiroli division, was killed in an encounter near Kalled in Sironcha tehsil. In December 2016, in an encounter in Jhinganur, also in Sironcha, another DVC member Aitu was killed along with six others. The deaths of these three top cadres in a span of five months is expected to deal a crippling blow to the Naxal movement in Gadchiroli.
Last year, 19 Naxalites were killed in Gadchiroli encounters. However, Shinde didn't reveal the minute details of the encounter. "It's a very far-flung place where there is no communication. We got the news on satellite phone. The full details are yet to emerge. Our men are walking all the way from there to Tadgaon carrying all those bodies. Only after they reach Tadgaon shall I be able to get the minute details," Shinde said. The encounter has, no doubt, boosted the morale of Gadchiroli police.
"This is a very big success for us. With this, the Naxal movement in Gadchiroli has been dealt a decisive blow and it will not be able to come anywhere close to its previous strength...," Shinde said.