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The security forces on Monday neutralised five Naxalites after an encounter broke out in the West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. The encounter started in the early hours of Monday at around 5 am near Lipunga, within Gua police station limits, which is about 200 km from Ranchi.

Jharkhand Police spokesperson and IG (Operations) Amol V Homkar said, “Bodies of five Naxalites, including two women, have been recovered so far. Additionally, two persons have been apprehended,” While four bodies were found in the morning, the fifth body of a woman was found later during the subsequent search operations, he added.

Weapons recovered

During the search operations, one INSAS rifle, two SLRs, three (.303) rifles, and one (9mm) pistol were recovered from the site.

IG Homkar identified the killed Naxalites as zonal commander Kande Honhaga from Thalkobad in Chaibasa, sub-zonal commander Singrai alias Manoj from Jaigur police station area in Chhattisgarh, area commander Surya alias Munda Devgam, and female cadres Junga Purty alias Marla and Sapni Hansda.

According to police sources, Singrai had a bounty of Rs 10 lakh, and Kande and Surya had bounties of Rs 5 lakh and Rs 2 lakh respectively. IG Homkar stated that Singrai and Kande were experts in laying IEDs.

Meanwhile, the apprehended Naxalites were identified as area commander Pandu Hansda and Batri Devgam, he added. “Two Naxalites attempting to flee were apprehended by security forces,” he added.

Joint teams of Chaibasa police, CoBRA 209, Jharkhand Jaguar, and CRPF conducted operation

The operation started after the police received intelligence that some Naxalites had assembled near Lipunga forests to execute an attack.

“Based on this input, a joint search operation was conducted by security forces comprising Chaibasa police, CoBRA 209, Jharkhand Jaguar, and CRPF. Upon reaching the area around 5 am, the Maoists launched an attack on the search team. In self-defence, security forces retaliated with gunfire. The encounter lasted approximately an hour,” Homkar added.

(With PTI Inputs)

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