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19 Maoists killed in biggest encounter: cops

Chhattisgarh: 15-yr-old girl among those dead,all bodies recovered

Written by Ashutosh Bhardwaj | Raipur |
June 30, 2012 2:38:40 am

At least 19 people were killed in two places a few kilometres apart in Chhattisgarh early Friday in what the state police described as their “biggest encounter” with Maoists. They said the shootout was a joint operation by the CoBRA,STF and district police.

While 17 ‘Maoists’ were reportedly killed in Sarkeguda in Bijapur district,the other two were killed in Jagargunda,Sukma.

There were differing versions of the incident and identities of those killed. It was also not clear if all were indeed Maoists.

The police said the forces attacked two teams who had recently entered from Orissa and were camping in Silger. The CRPF said the operation was aimed at busting a training camp.

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A copy of an assessment record of the 17 killed in Sarkeguda accessed by The Indian Express mentioned “Naxal” against the names of only two — Korsa Bijje and Irpa Somulu.

Unusually,the security forces managed to recover all the bodies although the encounter took place late at night and deep in the jungles about 400 km south of Raipur. Maoists rarely leave behind bodies of their cadres,and the forces are generally not known to get their hands on any.

The operation began Thursday night with the forces marching towards an undisclosed destination in Bijapur from three directions — Basaguda (Bijapur),Jagargunda (Sukma) and Chintalnar (Sukma).

Pankaj Kumar Singh,CRPF IG (Operations),told The Indian Express: “The forces were going to bust a Naxal training camp in Silger… They met resistance at Saraiguda,Naxals fired at them and the encounter took place around 12.45 am. Forces went there again in the morning and retrieved the bodies. Villagers identified some among them as Naxals,some as Jan Militia members. A few innocent villagers could have died in crossfire… We also busted a training camp in Penta and recovered weapons and household material.”

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