Express News Service
BHOPAL: Two wanted Maoists, including an armed woman cadre, were gunned down in an encounter in the jungles of Mandla district on Friday night.
The slain Maoists – both members of the Vistar Platoon of the banned CPI (Maoist) – have been identified as 25-year-old Geeta and 22-year-old Dulla alias Mainu, both residents of the Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.
The slain Maoists were accused in 18 cases each in the Balaghat district of MP and Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh.
Both Dulla and Geeta, who carried a bounty of Rs 8 lakh each (Rs 3 lakh from MP government and Rs 5 lakh from Chhattisgarh government), were Area Committee members of CPI (Maoist) Vistar Platoon 3.
For the last few years, the Vistar Platoon of the CPI (Maoists) had been operating in the jungles of MP and Chhattisgarh. It was working to build a red corridor comprising Rajnandgaon and Kavardha districts of Chhattisgarh and the Balaghat and Mandla districts of MP as part of the larger plan to spread through the jungles of MP and Chhattisgarh till Eastern UP.
According to MP police sources, the anti-Naxal police force comprising the state police’s specialized anti-Naxal Hawk Force and teams of Mandla district police, acting on specific inputs, spotted movement of over a dozen armed Maoists in the jungles near Lalpur village under the Motinala police station area of Mandla district on the intervening night of Friday-Saturday.
The joint teams of Hawk Force and Madla district police surrounded the forest area near Lalpur village and asked the armed Maoists to surrender, but the Maoists allegedly started firing at the police. The cops also retaliated, resulting in the death of the two Maoists.
The two bodies were found during the subsequent search operation by police in the jungle, Mandla SP Yashpal Singh Rajput said. A loaded .303 rifle and an SLR rifle were seized by the police near the slain Maoists.
Earlier, in November 2020, a 25-year-old woman Maoist identified as Sharda (carrying a bounty of Rs 8 lakh on her head) was gunned down in an encounter in the Malkhedi jungles of Baihar police station area of Balaghat district. A month later two women Maoists Savitri and Shoba were killed in an exchange of fire with police in the Borvan jungles under the Kirnapur police station area of Balaghat district.