A senior Maoist leader was killed in an intense gun-battle between security forces and rebels in Chhattisgarh's insurgency-hit Rajnandgaon district, police said on Wednesday.
The face-off took place last night on the Gahangatta hills under Aundhi police station limits, Rajnandgaon Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Shukla said. The Maoist was identified as Sunil Aayla, 'deputy commander' of Aundhi LGS (Local Guerrilla Squad), who was carrying a reward of Rs 3 lakh on his head, Shukla said.
Based on a tip-off about a meeting of senior Naxal leaders on Gahangata hills, around 6 km from Aundhi police station, a joint squad of special task force and district police launched a search operation yesterday.
Ultras opened fire indiscriminately from the hill top after they were surrounded, and fled after an hour as security personnel retaliated, the SP said.
While Aayla's body was recovered, blood stains at the site indicated that some of his other colleagues were also injured or killed, the officer said.
An SLR rifle, 50 cartridges, two tiffin-bombs, a walkie-talkie, medicines, and commodities of daily use were found. Associated with Naxal movement since 2005, Sunil was a native of Karyakatta village of Rajnandgaon.