15 dead Maoists fished out of Maharashtra river; toll 37

Representational image

Police in central India killed at least 37 Maoist rebels, with more bodies pulled out of a river on Tuesday, two days after security forces ambushed a band of fighters in a forest deep in the interior of Maharashtra state, authorities said. In the biggest police action since naxalite movement's birth, 33 Maoists have been killed by C-60 commandos of Gadhiroli police in last 48 hours. "Search operations have been launched in villages adjoining the borders of the encounter sites and close to the Indravati river to locate these people".

These 11 Maoists are believed to be from among those who managed to escape to the forests during a gunfight with security forces on Sunday. "Search for more bodies and material is going on", said Bihari.

Maharashtra police commandos have killed at least 37 Maoists including 19 women rebels in operations over two days in the state's Gadchiroli district.

Gadchiroli Police, in a press release, mentioned the names of some slain Naxals, including Shrinu alias Shrikanth (51), a native of Challgari in Telangana, who was deputy commander. Police said 31 Maoists were killed in a firefight Sunday after they were ambushed in the Kasnasur region, and six more ultra-left rebels were gunned down in another encounter in the Kapewancha area on Monday night.

The security forces have virtually sealed off the entire district and are conducting thorough combing operations.

Satish Mathur, Director General of Maharashtra Police, appealed to the Maoists to surrender after the first encounter took place. So, we launched an operation on Saturday evening. With the death of Sainath and Sinu, three divisional committee members have been killed in encounters this year, apart from 17 other Naxalites, reported The Indian Express.

Police officials surmise that the Aheri and Sironcha dalams have been totally wiped out in the two-day operations which claimed four out of five of their top leaders.

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