RAPIUR: Security forces gunned down two hardcore Maoists in an encounter in the forests of Dantewada of Bastar on Thursday. A 5kg IED was found at the encounter site.
The two were identified as Rishu Istam, deputy commander of PLGA platoon 16, and Maata, commander of Pidiyakot Jan Militia. While Istam carried a bounty of Rs 8 lakh, Maata had a reward of Rs 1 lakh.
Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallava said a team of District Reserve Guards set off on an operation on specific input that 20 Maoists, led by Mallesh, commander of platoon 16 and Istam, was on the move, and area committee members Ajay and Murli were with them.
A few key local-level Maoist leaders have been gunned down in the past month. On April 29, a woman Maoist named Ranai, who headed the area committee of East Bastar division supply team, was shot. On May 9, Maoist divisional committee member Ashok and three others were killed in Rajnandgaon in which a police officer, SI Shyam Kishore Sharma, also died.