Malkangiri: The Maoist death toll in one of the biggest encounters with the outlawed extremist outfit mounted to 27 today as the security forces recovered three more bodies today during combing operation in Bejing forest under Panasput grampanchyat of Malkangiri, where the fierce gun battle took place in the early morning of Monday.
The process of identifying the slain naxals has been completed. These will be handed over to their families soon, Visakhapatnam SP (rural) said. Except two of them, who belonged to Chhattisgarh, all the others belong to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, police sources said.
On the other hand, the security forces of Andhra and Odisha and Intelligence department have kept a strict vigil on the movement of the Andhra-Odisha Special Zonal Border Committee of the outlawed organisation after the major encounter.
The police claimed to have made a big success in the anti-naxal operations as some high-ranking rebel leaders, including Aruna Chalapati, Gajrala Ravi, Daya, Venkat Ravana, Munna (son of dreaded Maoist Ramakrishna) & Pengal Suresh, most of them carried heavy rewards on their heads, were among those killed in the gun battle that took place in a mountainous forest at Bejing under Panasput grampanchyat of Malkangiri in the wee hours of Monday. Eight women cadre are also in the list of dead.
The special police forces of Andhra and Odisha, supported by anti-Maoist police commandos Greyhounds, chased the fleeing Maoists deep into the naxal-dominated forest. A Greyhounds commando, who was injured along with another colleague, also succumbed while being airlifted to Visakhapatnam for treatment.