Indian police kills 6 Naxals in Chhattisgarh gunfight

NEW DELHI (Xinhua) – Six Naxals were killed and two policemen wounded Saturday in a fierce gunfight in India’s central state of Chhattisgarh, police said.

The gunfight broke out at Dantewada district, about 350 km south of Raipur, the capital city of Chhattisgarh.”Today six armed insurgents were killed in Dantewada district,” a police official said. “The District Reserve Group (DRG) of police was on a search operation in Burgum- Toyapara hills near Aranpur of southern Bastar region when the maoists fired upon them this afternoon. The team responded swiftly and has succeeded in killing at least six Naxals.”

Police officials claim they have recovered three bodies and three assault rifles from the spot.

According to police, the two DRG Jawans were removed to the nearest medical facility for treatment.

Reports said paramilitary reinforcements were rushed to the area and stand-off was going on between Naxals and policemen when the last reports poured in.

Naxalites are also known as “Maoists”. Maoist insurgency has its genesis in the violent leftwing rebellion that began in 1967 at village Naxalbari in the Indian state of West Bengal.

Currently Maoists are active in more than a third of the total 600-odd districts across central and eastern India.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh once termed the Naxalite movement as India’s “greatest internal security challenge.”

New Delhi has deployed several companies of its paramilitary forces to take on Naxals in their strongholds.

The insurgency reportedly has claimed more than 6,000 lives and rendered thousands of poor inhabitants homeless.

Last week 12 personnel of India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed and five others wounded after Naxals ambushed them in adjacent Sukma district. The Naxals later looted 10 service rifles from the slain troopers.