New Delhi: As many as 26 Naxalites including their leader Milind Teltumbade were killed on Saturday after a fierce encounter broke out in the Mardintola forest in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra.

Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary on Monday (November 15) discussed the Gadchiroli encounter in which the security forces dismantled the ‘Urban Naxal’ gang.

According to police, about 100 Naxals fired indiscriminately at C-60 commandos and jawans of the Special Action Team (SAT) of Maharashtra Police from their sophisticated weapons disregarding the appeal to surrender.

The first incident of firing took place at 6 am and the Naxalites continued to open fire till 3 pm. That is, the firing continued in the forest for about 9 hours. Naxalites do not usually do this in most of the encounters as they keep changing their hideout in the forest. They usually do not have such heavy ammunition and are often dependent on the support of locals.

The continuous firing made the security officials suspicious of the presence of some big leaders of the outfit. After this, about 300 commandos of C-60 started the operation to surround them from all sides in the forest and killed 26 Naxalites.

Of these, there were 14 Naxalites who carried a reward of Rs 2 lakh or more. Seven carried a reward of Rs 4 lakh, one carried Rs 6 lakh, two carried a reward of Rs 8 lakh and one carried a reward of Rs 20 lakh.

Among the slain Naxalites was Milind Teltumbde, who carried a reward of Rs 50 lakh. He had established the Naxal-affected areas of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra as guerrilla zones, of which he himself was the head.

Apart from this, he was also the head of the Urban Naxal gang. It had formed a wing of Urban Naxals, which used to spread Naxalite ideology in urban areas and mislead the youth of backward society in cities and recruit them into their group. Milind Teltumbde was doing this work for the last 30 years.

Apart from this, he was a member of the Central Committee of the dreaded Naxalite CPI Maoist, which was banned by the Government of India in the year 2009. The police had made him an accused in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence case as well. And later, he was declared a fugitive.

Notably, after the Bhima Koregaon violence of 2018, some journalists and opposition leaders of our own country supported these Urban Naxals and raised questions on the security force of the country. They said there was nothing like Urban Naxals in the country and that the central government is suppressing the voice of innocent social workers. But the bitter truth is that these Naxalites are reaching the urban areas from the jungle and want to destabilise the country. The Gadchiroli encounter was proof of that.

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