A huge cache of Maoist-related materials, including items used in making home-made bombs, was recovered following a gunfight between security forces and Naxals in Chhattisgarh's Kabirdham district Thursday, police said.
The encounter, which may have caused casualties among rebels, took place in the morning near Amlidar village in the Bhoramdeo wildlife sanctuary area, when a joint team of security forces was out on an anti-Naxal operation, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Durg range) Ratanlal Dangi told PTI.
Acting on a specific tip-off, the combine squad of the Special Task Force (STF), the Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and the district force had launched the operation in the interiors of Bhoramdeo bordering Madhya Pradesh, he said.
When the patrolling team wascordoning off forests around Amlidar, located around 150km from the state capital Raipur, a group of armed rebels opened fire on them, prompting security forces to retaliate, the DIG said.
Maoists soon fled into deep forests taking advantage of rough terrain, Dangi said.
Later, a huge cache cache of naxal-related materials, including commodities of daily use, a pressure cooker used in making IEDs (improvised explosive devices), ration items and medicines were recovered from the spot, he added.
"Bloodstains were found at the spot indicating some ultras may have been injured or killed in the gun-battle", the DIG said.
"No harm was reported to security forces in the action," he added.
According to the police, anti-naxal operations have been intensified in the insurgency-hit districts of the state in view of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Chhattisgarh, which has 11 Lok Sabha seats, will vote in three phases - on April 11, April 18 and April 23.
Kabirdham district, which falls under the Rajnandgaon Lok Sabha constituency, will go to polls along with two other seats - Mahasamund and Kanker - during the second phase on April 18.
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