Sixteen Naxalites, including two senior members, were killed in an encounter with police in Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra on Sunday, IANS reported the police as saying.

“Combing operations are still on,” Inspector General of Police Sharad Shelar
told PTI. He told the media that two district-level “commanders” of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) were among those killed in the encounter.

Sinu, a divisional committee member of the party’s South Gadchiroli division, and Perimili Dalam commander Sainath, who is said to have been recently elevated as divisional committee member, were killed, the police said, reported The Indian Express.

“This is the first time that two divisional committee members have been killed in one operation,” Deputy Inspector General of Police (Gadchiroli range) Ankush Shinde told The Indian Express. With the death of Sainath and Sinu, three divisional committee members have been killed in encounters this year, apart from 17 other Naxalites, reported The Indian Express.

A team of C-60 commandos, a specialised combat unit of the Gadchiroli Police, launched the operation at 7 am in the forests in Bhamragad taluk’s Tadgav area, reported IANS. The gunfight with the rebels reportedly continued till 11 am.