Wanted naxal may have given police the slip

Deepak alias Milind Teltumbde is known to be operating around Gadchiroli, Gondia and Rajnandgaon and the police from Maharashtra as well as Chhattisgarh have been trailing him for some time

Elusive naxal big gun Deepak alias Milind Teltumbde, secretary of Maharashtra State Committee of CPI (Maoist), is believed to have had a narrow escape on Monday when police swooped down on a camp in north Gadchiroli near Gondia border in an intelligence-based operation led by Superintendent of Police (SP) Suvez Haq.

Teltumbde is known to be operating around Gadchiroli, Gondia and Rajnandgaon and police from Maharashtra as well as Chhattisgarh have been trailing him for some time.

"Our team had information about naxal movement in the area. An operation was launched by SP. Firing near Lekurbodi village around 1.30 pm continued for 15 minutes. The naxals ran away, leaving behind shoulder bags and other material," DIG (Gadchiroli range) Ravindra Kadam told The Indian Express. "We had information about platoon 8 of naxals being in the area. Teltumbde was suspected to be there," he said.

Teltumbade, one of the most sought-after naxals, has managed to stay in hiding for the past few years.

His wife Angela Ramteke was arrested by Thane police in 2010. The couple were instrumental in drafting several Dalit youths into the party and dalams over the past nearly six years.

Incidentally, this was the 38th encounter in Gadchiroli this year, which is a record. Carried out exclusively by Gadchiroli police, Monday's was the third encounter this month.

Police and CRPF have increased pressure on naxals in the interior areas with proactive operations.

The past two years, security forces faced severe criticism for remaining in the comfort of fortress-like police stations. Both CRPF and Gadchiroli police, however, have been on the move.

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