8 Maoists Killed In Kothagudem Encounter

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Hyderabad: Police said on Thursday they have killed eight Naxalites belonging to a newly-formed extremist group, which allegedly indulged in extortion and violence, in a gunbattle in Bhadradri Kothagudem district of Telangana.

The encounter took place at around 6.30 am in a forest area under Tekulapalli mandal, a senior police official said. According to the official, a police team had launched a combing operation in the forest area after receiving information about the movement of armed extremists. At about 6.30am, the police team noticed people in olive green uniforms carrying weapons, after which they warned them to surrender.

“However, instead of surrendering, the armed men started firing at the police party. The police maintained maximum restraint…but as there was no way to stop them from firing and in self-defence the police party retaliated,” the official explained.

The encounter continued for about 20 minutes. Following a search at the scene, the police found eight bodies with fire arm injuries, the official said.

He said six fire arms – one SLR (self-loading rifle), three SBBL (single barrel breech load), two other weapons, eight kitbags, some Naxalite literature were recovered. “No policemen were injured in the incident. Six of the deceased have been identified,” he said.

The group members were active in four districts -Jayashankar Bhupalpally, Mahabubabad, Kothagudem and Khammam. They indulged in extortion from businessmen, conducted land settlements and civil panchayats, put up pamphlets and created terror in the society, according to the police.