Dantewada (Chhattisgarh) [India], Apr 18 (ANI): Two Naxals, allegedly involved in the assassination of BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi, were killed in an encounter in the forests of Dhanikarka on Thursday, according to the police.
One of the two killed has been identified as Verghese who had Rs 5 lakh bounty on his head, said the police adding that the other person is yet to be identified.
The Chhattisgarh police claimed that the Naxals had come to plant IEDs with the intention of executing a major operation.
Bhima Mandavi was killed and five police personnel sustained critical injuries after Naxals attacked a convoy on April 9. Mandavi was in the convoy, travelling from Kuakonta to Syamgiri in Dantewada, when it came under Naxal attack using an IED.
"We received information last night that a group of about 11 Naxals held a meeting in the village and then went to a hill nearby to sleep. We along with the team of DRG laid the trap and started mounting (the hill) with the first light of morning. The Naxals fired on us and we fired in retaliation," said SP Dantewada Abhishek Pallav.
"The remaining Naxals managed to escape as our party had limited strength in terms of numbers," said SP.
"They were planning to plant IED on the road. They had also told villagers that they had killed BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi. They certainly have a role in planting the IED to kill him," said the officer.
The incident comes amidst ongoing polling in three Lok Sabha constituencies today in Chhattisgarh, namely Kanker, Rajnandgaon and Mahasamund.
Of the total 11 Lok Sabha seats in the State, Bastar constituency voted in the first phase of elections. Voters had exercised their franchise in Naxal-affected regions of Dantewada and Sukma amid heavy security.
During the first phase of polling, a joint party of the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Chhattisgarh Police came under a Naxal ambush in the early hours of the day while on their way to a polling booth.
Rest of the seven Parliamentary constituencies in Chhattisgarh will vote on April 23.
Polling today began in 95 parliamentary constituencies spread across 11 states and a Union Territory in the second phase of ongoing elections.Voters are exercising their franchise in Lok Sabha constituencies of Assam (5), Bihar (5), Chhattisgarh (3), Jammu and Kashmir (2), Karnataka (14), Maharashtra (10), Manipur (1), Odisha (5), Tamil Nadu (38), Uttar Pradesh (8), West Bengal (3) and a single parliamentary seat of Puducherry. (ANI)