Four wanted Naxals, including two women- who all carried rewards on their heads- and a police official were killed in an exchange of fire in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh, police said on Saturday.
Terming the killings as huge success for the police, an officer said they managed to eliminate the "high-value targets" who were active on Chhattisgarh-Maharashtra border.
The incident took place on Friday night at Pardhauni village under Manpur police station limits, located over 150 kms from Raipur, when a team of security forces was out on a counter-insurgency operation, Inspector General of Police (Durg range) Vivekanand Sinha said.
"We got input at 7 pm on Friday that a group of 7-8 armed cadres were camping and cooking food at Pardhauni village, located around six kms away from Manpur police station," Rajnandgaon Superintendent of Police Jitendra Shukla told PTI.
Based on the tip-off, a police team of 28 personnel, led by Madanwada police station SHO Shyam Kishore Sharma and Kohka police station SHO Pravin Dwivedi, launched the operation, he said.
At around 9:30 pm, when security personnel were cordoning off the area on the outskirts of Pardhauni village, naxals opened indiscriminate firing, which was returned by police personnel, he said.
The firing lasted for about 20 minutes following which ultras fled the spot, he said.
"During search of the encounter site, bodies of four ultras, including two women, clad in 'uniform' were recovered. Police also found an AK-47 rifle, an SLR rifle and two 12-bore guns," Shukla said.
Sub Inspector Shyam Kishore Sharma (36), who sustained bullet injuries, died while being shifted to hospital, he added.
Among the gunned down cadres, Ashok Rainu (35) was a member of Rajnandgaon-Kanker border division committee who was carrying a reward of Rs 8 lakh on his head.
His accomplice Krishna Nareti (26), an area committee member, was carrying a reward of Rs 5 lakh on his head, Shukla added.
"The women cadres were identified as Savita Salame and Parmila, both members of Mohla-Aundhi joint LOS (local organisation squad) and carried rewards of Rs 1 lakh each on their heads," he said.
Shukla said the slain Maoists were involved in several incidents on Chhattisgarh-Maharashtra border and were "high- value targets".
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has expressed grief over the martyrdom of the sub-inspector Sharma.
"The news of the martyrdom of Shyam Kishore Sharma, SHO of Madanwada during an encounter between police and Naxalites in Pardhauni village, is painful. I salute to his martyrdom. May god give strength to his family. Four naxals were killed in this encounter," Baghel tweeted in Hindi.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)