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Gadchiroli encounter: Top Naxalite Milind Teltumbde among 26 killed

Security forces have dealt a major blow to the Naxalites in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli

Gadchiroli encounter Top Naxalite Milind Teltumbde killed
Gadchiroli, First Published Nov 14, 2021, 9:29 AM IST
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Security forces have dealt a major blow to the Naxalites in Maharashtra. Naxal leader Milind Teltumbde was killed in an encounter in Gadchiroli. Milind is the brother of the scholar Anand Teltumbde, who is currently in jail in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case.

Milind alias Deepak, the head of the newly formed MMC zone (Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh confluence) zone of the rebels, was among the 26 Naxals eliminated by the security forces in an ongoing operation. Confirming Milind's killing, Gadchiroli Superintendent of Police Ankit Goyal said that the slain Naxal's body was identified by the surrendered outlaws. A formal identification session will be held wherein family members would be called to identify the body. Besides Milind, divisional commanders of CPI-Maoist and Milind bodyguard Bhagat were among those eliminated in the encounter.

An engineer, Milind was counted amongst the top of the Maoist hierarchy. Milind's name also figures in the Bhima-Koregaon Elgar Parishad case and he had been absconding for several decades. The top Naxalite had a bounty of Rs 50 lakh on his head. The National Investigation Agency too had been on the lookout for the CPI-Maoist central committee member who was slapped with over 14 charges in the Bhima Koregaon case.

The encounter began when a C-60 police commando team led by additional SP Soumya Munde was attacked by the Naxals during an early morning search operation at Korchi in the Mardintola forest area of Gadchiroli. The security forces had received information about a number of Naxals entering villages near the area following which an operation was launched. During the heavy exchange of gunfire, three police personnel were also seriously injured. Helicopters were pressed into service to evacuate the injured personnel.

This is a significant success for the security forces, as according to sources, the casualty figure among Naxals may be higher than 20. To put things in perspective, the Naxals' so-called liberated zone of Dandakaranya is mainly comprised of a large portion of the Bastar division in Chhattisgarh and a small pocket in bordering Maharashtra's Gadchiroli. The C-60 commando force of the Maharashtra police has had reasonable success against the Naxals in the area. And this encounter would be the biggest of sorts wherein 26 Naxals, including members of the top hierarchy, have been eliminated.

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