Two hardcore Maoists, including a deputy commander, were killed in an exchange of fire with security forces in a naxal-affected forest in Rajnandgaon district in Chhattisgarh today, police said. The skirmish took place at around 12.30 pm in the forest of Bodla village under Gatapar police station limits when a joint team of security forces was out on a counter-insurgency operation, RajnandgaonSuperintendent of Police Prashant Agrawal told PTI. The composite squad of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), District Reserve Guard (DRG), district force and Hawk force of Madhya Pradesh police had launched the operation in Gatapar, located around 160 kms away from the state capital, he said. The exchange of fire started after the patrolling team came under heavy firing from a group of ultras in Bodla forests.
The intermittent firing lasted for a long time, he said. "After thegunsfellsilent, security forces searched the area and recovered bodies of two naxals along with two weapons," Agrawal said. The deceased were later identified as Vinod, deputy commander of military platoon no. 55 of Maoists, who was a native of Gadchiroli in Maharashtra, and Sagar, who hailed from south Bastar and was a member of the platoon, he said. "Vinod and Sagar were carrying cash reward of Rs 8 lakh and Rs 2 lakh on their heads respectively," he added. Further details are awaited as the operation is still underway in the region, he said.
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