Eight Maoists gunned down in Maharashtra

February 25th, 2008 - 11:44 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, Feb 25 (IANS) In one of its biggest anti-Maoist operations, the Maharashtra police gunned down eight rebels and left five others wounded seriously in fierce gunbattles in an eastern border district. The police also recovered weapons from the Maoists, an official said here Monday. State Director-General of Police (DGP) P.S. Pasricha said Monday evening that the Anti-Naxalite Operations (ANO) Cell of the police waged four gunbattles over the past week with the Maoists in Gadchiroli district, bordering Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.

“While eight Maoists were killed, five others were seriously injured in the operations,” Pasricha told media persons, adding that a police official was also killed during the gunbattles.

The DGP said after armed skirmishes with the police, the Maoists usually take away the bodies of their dead comrades to conceal the exact figure of casualties on their side.

He said that the police managed to seize several weapons used by the rebels, including double-barrel rifles, grenades and country-made weapons as well as cartridges.

This was one of the ANO cell’s biggest operations in recent days and according to reports, the police also seized some communication equipment used by the outlaws.

Jan 12, 55 Maoists had surrendered to the police in Gadchiroli, the largest number to have laid down arms in the state so far.

Following the surrender and intelligence inputs, the ANO cell launched its operations last week.

Among the rebel groups whose members have surrendered are three of the Dalam, and 26 each from the Gram Rakshak Dal and Area Rakshak Dal.

Pasricha said the State Intelligence Department (SID) is monitoring Maoist activity in some urban pockets. This follows the Mumbai police’s Anti-Terrorist Squad nabbing two important rebel functionaries from the city in October last year, an incident that sent shockwaves among Mumbaikars.

The two nabbed rebels are Vishnu alias Shridhar Krishnan Srinivasan of the Central Committee and Politburo of the Communist Party of India-Maoist and Vikram, alias Vernin Gonsalves, a member of the same outfit’s Maharashtra State Committee.

In May last year, a resident of Bandra, Arun Ferreira, was arrested from Nagpur. He had been entrusted with gathering intellectual support from urban centres and allegedly had plans to penetrate sensitive places in Mumbai, Nashik and Pune.

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