A gun battle with police has claimed the lives of four Maoist rebels in a forest in central India’s Chhattisgarh state, security forces announced Friday.
Bijapur district police chief Kanhaiya Lal Dhruv said the gun battle resulted in the death of one female and three male Maoists, while four rifles and four Chinese hand grenades have been recovered, cited by AFP.
Officers are still searching for weapons and bodies of any other rebels in the remote region believed to have been a rebel stronghold for nearly two decades.
An intelligent tip-off that the Maoists were in the forested Gangluar area, where the shootout occurred, had triggered the launch of a search operation, according to police.
Inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, India’s ongoing Maoist insurgency began in the 1960s and has cost thousands of lives.
Described by the former prime minister Manmohan Singh as a serious internal security threat, rebels say they are fighting against authorities to provide rights, land and jobs for poor tribal groups.
They are believed to be active in resource rich areas of Chattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand and Mahashtra, while operating in at least 20 Indian states.