Kolkata/Ranchi: Security forces tasted success in the fight against the Naxals, Monday, as six Naxals were killed after a night-long encounter in the dense forests of West Midnapore district.
Acting on specific intelligence, a joint-team of the CRPF and special anti-Naxal force SAF went into the operation in the dense forests under Golatore police station last night.
Six bodies, including that of a woman cadre, were found from the site of the encounter which ended in the wee hours today, they said, adding twelve weapons, including SLRs and INSAS rifles, were also recovered.
According to initial reports, one of the six dead is suspected to be Siddhu Soren, a top Naxal commander in of the state.
A CRPF jawan also lost his life in the gunbattle, he has been identified as constable Ashish Tiwari.
A Maoist camp was destroyed in Jharkhand after a 20-hour gunfight between the security forces and the rebels, police said Monday.
The gun battle started Sunday in the jungle areas bordering Khuti, Seraikela and Kharsawa districts and continued overnight. It ended early Monday, a police officer said.
"It was a 20-hour gunfight. Some Maoists also sustained bullet injuries," the police officer said.
Around 900 security personnel comprising the Central Reserve Police Force and the Special Task Force (STF) were involved in the operation.
"Search operation is on. We have surrounded the jungle in bordering areas as we suspect the presence of CPI-Maoist (Communist Party of India-Maoist) zonal commander Kunda Pahan in the area," the police officer said.
On Sunday, police got information that Pahan, known as the Veerappan of Karnataka, was staying with 45 Maoists in Jaranburu hill in the area bordering Khuti and Seraikela districts. The security forces surrounded the area and the gunfight started.
Pahan, who carries a reward of Rs.5 lakh on his head, is accused of killing former minister and Janata Dal-United legislator Ramesh Singh Munda in June 2008, abducting and beheading special branch inspector Francis Induwar, hijacking an ICICI delivery van and looting Rs.5 crore and killing more than a dozen security personnel in the last three years.