Mulugu: Security forces foiled a major plan to assassinate political leaders when they killed three Maoists in an encounter on the Telangana -Chhattisgarh border on Monday.

Based on inputs that Maoists are planning to assassinate political leaders and damage government and private properties, a joint operation was launched by Mulugu District Police, Greyhounds, and Bijapur District police in the border areas of Telangana and Chattisgarh.

Mulugu District Superintendent of Police (SP) Sangram Singh G Patil said when forces were zeroing in on the target, they came under heavy fire. The fire was retaliated and in the ensuing encounter, three Maoists were killed. A large cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from the encounter site. These include one LMG, one AK-47 with Bayonet, one SLR, one Gun, and explosive materials besides three-camera flashes, four solar plates, one solar foldable sheet, and 12 kit bags.

Patil said forces are still combing the area to track down Maoists who might have fled into the forest. "Maoists are planting land mines (Pressure mines) in this area. In one incident, Soyam Pentaiah of Mukunurpalem died when a landmine planted by the Maoists went off," he said.

He said tribals are the biggest sufferers because Maoists obstruct the development process. "Tribals suffer financially and psychologically due to extortion by the Maoists. A lot of tribals have migrated from Chattisgarh to Telangana due to the persecution by Maoists," he said.

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