Indian Police Kill 12 Maoists

Indian Police Kill 12 Maoists Indian Police Kill 12 Maoists

Police in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand said they have killed at least 12 suspected Maoist fighters in a clash.

The fighting on early Tuesday took place in the forests of Palamau district, which is considered a rebel stronghold.

Police said they had recovered automatic guns from the Maoists. There were no police casualties, they added, BBC reported.

The Maoists said they are fighting for communist rule and greater rights for tribal people and the rural poor. Their insurgency began in the eastern state of West Bengal in the late 1960s, spreading to more than one-third of India’s 600-plus administrative districts.

The details of Tuesday’s clashes are sketchy. reports said the rebels, who were traveling in two cars, opened fire at the policemen when they were stopped at a security check. Police said they were trying to verify the identities of the men killed in the clash.

Major military and police offensives in recent years have pushed Maoists back to their forest strongholds and levels of violence have fallen.

But hit-and-run attacks are still common, killing hundreds of people every year. In December, Maoists killed at least 14 paramilitary policemen in an ambush in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh.

In April last year, Maoists ambushed a police vehicle in Jharkhand and killed six police officers during voting in India’s national elections.