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3 suspected Maoists killed in encounter with Latehar police

Ranchi, Nov 21 (IANS): Three Maoists were gunned down on Monday during an encounter with security forces in Latehar district’s Bendi forest area. Latehar Superintendent of Police, Anjani Anjan, said that a massive search operation is on in the forest to nab other naxalites who might be hiding there. Three firearms were also recovered from the spot.

Earlier this year, in March, three suspected naxals were killed in an encounter with security personnel. Police said that the three ultras who died in the operation were members of the Tritiya Prastuti Committee, another splinter group of the Maoists.

Anjan said that the incident took place around 4 pm. He added that the identity of the Maoists who were killed in the operation are yet unidentified. According to the Latehar police, the three suspected naxalites who were killed in the encounter were members of the outlawed Jharkhand Jan Mukti Parishad (JJMP), a splinter group of the CPI (Maoists).

The encounter took place when the Latehar district police were conducting a combing operation in the Bendi forest area. The police had received an intelligence input about the presence of a JJMP group. On spotting the search party the naxals opened fire and the police retaliated.

The three suspected naxals were killed in the exchange of fire with a small action team (SAT) of the Latehar district police. “Besides, the bodies of the three ultras, two Insas rifles and one self-loading rifle, apart from ammunition, have also been recovered from the spot,” Anjan said.

Combing operation continued till late on Monday as the police personnel searched for other members of the banned outfit who could be hiding in the forest.

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