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Naxalite killed in encounter with elite Hawk Force inside dense forests of Madhya Pradesh’s Balaghat

A 25-year-old Naxalite carrying a reward of ₹14 lakh on his head was killed in an encounter with an elite combat unit of the Madhya Pradesh police in Balaghat district on Friday morning, a senior official said.

The Naxalite, identified as Kamlu, was an active member of the ‘Naxali Dalam Tanda Dadekasa’ unit of the banned outfit, he said.

The encounter took place when the State police’s elite Hawk Force was carrying out a search operation in the Kundal-Koddapar and Sounguda forest areas under Roopjhar police station limits, the official said.

A group of 10-12 ultras fired at the Hawk Force jawans, who retaliated in a controlled and effective manner, resulting in the gunning down of Kamlu, he said.

Confirming the incident, Balaghat Superintendent of Police Sameer Saurabh said some more members of the proscribed outfit were injured in the encounter and the search has been intensified to locate them.

Another official said a rifle of .30-06 make was found from the slain ultra, who is a resident of Bijapur in the State and was part of the outlawed movement since 2015.

"Kamlu was carrying a cumulative reward of ₹14 lakh on his head. The bounty comprises ₹6 lakh announced by the Maharashtra Government, ₹5 lakh by Chhattisgarh [Government] and ₹3 lakh by the M.P. Government," he said.

Kamlu had 24 criminal cases against his name, including for murder, attempt to murder, abduction and arson, the official added.