In a massive blow to Maoists, 37 hardcore Naxals were killed since Sunday in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district, police said on Tuesday.
Of the 37 bodies recovered so far, 16 have been identified, police said, adding that the identified Naxals carried a combined reward of Rs 1.06 crore, they said.
The operation was the result of coordination between C-60 commandos of the Maharashtra Police in hot pursuit of Naxals.
"In the operation by C-60 squad in the Kasanasur jungle area, 16 bodies of Naxals (9 male and 7 female) were recovered on April 22," a senior police official said.
"Due to heavy rains and paucity of manpower, search was stopped. Yesterday (Monday), an operation was launched to search for bodies in the Indravati river and 15 more bodies were recovered," the official said.
Search for more bodies and weapons is underway, he said.
"In another operation in the Kapewancha area of Rajaram Khandla post yesterday, six Naxals were killed and their bodies recovered. These include two men and four women," the official said.
Due to the large number of Naxals killed, the developmental works in the Aheri and Sironcha tehsils, which were affected due to the Maoist menace, will get a boost, police said.
Maharashtra Director General of Police Satish Mathur attributed the massive operation against Naxals to 'accurate and specific' intelligence, low morale of Naxals and divisions in their ranks.