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A police constable and a Maoist were killed in an encounter in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district on Sunday, a senior police official said. The gunfight occurred in a forest near Hidur village under Chhotebethiya police station limits, where a joint team of security personnel was out on an anti-Maoist operation, Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) Sundarraj P said.

The operation was launched based on a specific input about the presence of Maoists in the Hidur forest, he said.

Personnel from the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and Bastar Fighters, both units of the state police, along with the Border Security Force (BSF) and district force, were involved in the operation, the official said.

The patrolling team was cordoning off the forest when Maoists fired on them indiscriminately, leading to the gun battle, he said.

“Constable Ramesh Kurethi of the Bastar Fighters was killed in the gunfight. The body of a Maoist and an AK-47 rifle were recovered from the spot”, the IG said.

A search operation was underway in the area, he said.

Kurethi hailed from Sangam village in the Pakhanjur area of Kanker district, the official said.