Two maoists, including a woman, were killed in an encounter with police in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district on Monday morning, an official said. A cache of explosives and an automatic weapon were recovered from the encounter site, he said, adding the two maoists were carrying a collective reward of ? 11 lakh on their heads.

The gunfight took place at around 5.30 am in a forest near Danteshpuram village under Bheji police station limits, located more than 400 km from state capital Raipur, when a team of District Reserve Guard (DRG) was out on an anti-maoist operation, Sukma Superintendent of Police Sunil Sharma told PTI.

The police had specific inputs about the presence of Golapalli Local Organisation Squad (LOS) maoist commander Madkam Erra along with 30-35 team members.

Hence, separate teams of DRG, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and its elite unit Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) launched the operation on Sunday night, he said.

When one of the patrolling teams of the DRG was cordoning off Danteshpuram forest, armed maoists opened fire leading to the gun battle, he said.

After guns fell silent, the bodies of two maoists were recovered from the spot, the official said.

They were identified as LOS commander Erra and woman cadre Podiyam Bhime, deputy commander of the same squad, Mr Sharma said.

Erra and Bhime were carrying rewards of ? 8 lakh and ? 3 lakh respectively on their heads, the official said.

“Erra, also an area committee member of maoists, was allegedly involved in more than two dozen incidents of maoist violence,” he said.

Search operation was underway in nearby areas, he added.