Raipur/Hyderabad, Mar 1: Eight Maoists including a local commander and five women were killed in a fierce gun battle with police in a dense forest in insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, close to Telangana's Khammam district in the wee hours today, police said.
The encounter took place between a team of Greyhounds -- Telangana's anti-Naxal force -- and the rebels in Sakler forests under Kistaram Police Station limits, nearly 500 kms south of Raipur.
Based on an information that ultras were planning to strike, police parties have been carrying out combing operations in the bordering areas for the last two to three days, Telangana Director General of Police (DGP) Anurag Sharma said.
"At around 7.30 AM (this morning), our teams in joint operation with Chhattisgarh Police, were combing the area when one batch of the rebels fired on the security personnel and we also fired in self-defence in which eight maoists were killed," Sharma told reporters in Hyderabad.
All the eight bodies have been brought to Bhadrachalam in Khammam, he said. Inspector General of Police, Bastar Range, SRP Kalluri told PTI that out of the eight ultras killed, three have been identified as -- Gottimukkala Ramesh alias Lachanna (52), who was a special zonal committee member and belonged to Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, woman cadre Yosuf Bi alias Sony (40) from Medak district in Telangana, and Raju (25) from Chhattisgarh.
After the exchange of fire, bodies of eight rebels, including five women, were recovered from the spot, he said, adding, an AK-47 rifle, one SLR, three Insas rifles and a .303 rifle were also found at the encounter spot, he said. Choppers were pressed into service to evacuate the security personnel from the area and shift the bodies of the rebels.