Five naxalites were killed at a village in Karnataka's Chikmagalur district in a nearly three-hour long gunbattle with police on Tuesday.
A group of seven naxalites hiding in an isolated house at Wodayarmath village opened fire at a police party which went there in search of them. The police team returned the fire, Inspector General of Police, Western Range, A M Prasad,
In the exchange of fire, five naxalites were killed, and one stengun with ammunition, one "tapancha" (country-made
pistol) and a grenade, which the ultras lobbed at police but did not explode, were recovered from the scene, he said.
Two naxalites managed to escape with some arms and ammunition.
Thirty-year-old Gautam, one of the ultras killed in the gunbattle, was a member of the state committee of the proscribed CPI (Maoist). The second one Paramesh (also 30) was an accused in two cases.
"He (Paramesh) is suspected to be involved in many other cases connected with crimes committed by naxalites during the last four years," police said.
The others killed are Subramanya (25), Ramegowda (50) and his wife Kaveri (40).
Prasad said a police constable, Raghav, received bullet injuries and has been admitted to a hospital at Manipal in Udupi district. Two other policemen received minor injuries.
Police have intensified combing and search operations in the Wodayarmath village and adjoining areas to nab those who escaped.
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