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Killed Maoist leader Shankar Rao had a Rs 25 lakh reward on his head.

New Delhi: Twenty-nine Maoists, including a senior rebel leader – Shankar Rao, who had a bounty of Rs 25 lakh on his head – were killed by security forces during an encounter in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district on Tuesday afternoon. A huge quantity of weapons, including Ak-47 and INSAS rifles, were recovered. 

Three security personnel were injured in the gunfight, which took place in forests near the village of Binagunda after a joint team of District Reserve Guard and Border Security Force were attacked.

Two of the three injured are from the BSF. Their condition is stable but the third – from the DRG – is in critical care. All three received treatment at a local hospital and are to be shifted to a larger facility.

Sources said the fighting began at around 2 PM, when a joint DRG-BSF team was conducting an anti-Maoist operation. The DRG was set up in in 2008 to combat Maoist activities in the state, and the Border Security Force has been deployed extensively in the area to for counter-insurgency ops.

There was another encounter in the district last month, in which two people – a Maoist and a cop – were killed, and security forces recovered a gun, some explosives, and other incriminating materials.

Personnel from the DRG and Bastar Fighters, both units of the state police force, with the Border Security Force, were involved in that operation, officials told news agency PTI. The patrolling team was cordoning off a forested area when fired on indiscriminately, leading to the gun battle.

In February, three Maoists were killed in another encounter in Kanker.

In November last year, while the state was voting in the first phase of an Assembly election, a gunfight broke out between security forces and Maoist rebels in the same district.

READ | Gunfight Between Security Forces, Maoists Amid 1st Phase Of Chhattisgarh Polls

An Ak-47 rifle was recovered from the encounter site.

On the same day, while polling was taking place, Maoists fired at DRG personnel deployed near a polling station in Banda in Dantewada district.

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