Almost 12 Maoists were said to be killed and a couple of them injured while a Greyhounds constable identified as Sushil Kumar also died of bullet injuries.
The incident occurred when police including Greyhounds personnel launched combing operations in the forests following tip-off about the presence of Maoists.
The "encounter", which is one of the biggest in recent times, started at around 4 pm on Thursday, when on a tip off about a Maoist meeting, the Greyhounds of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, assited by cops from Chattisgarh and Maharashtra, started the operation. The Greyhounds teams and other armed units returned fire.
However, Revolutionary Writers Association member Varavara Rao claimed it wasn't an encounter. A greyhound constable, injured during the firing was airlifted to a nearby hospital while the bodies of the Maoists have been moved to a government hospital in Bhadrachalam. "We requested that the post-mortem be video recorded also". The bodies of Maoists were also shifted to the town for autopsy.
Six of them are believed to be women.
The exchange of fire is still going on, reports said, adding that an AK-47 and some other weapons were recovered from the encounter spot.
Senior police officer D.M. Awasthy said police, acting on intelligence, raided the stronghold in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh state. The security personnel surrounded the guerrillas and asked them to surrender. After the firing stopped, 10 bodies were found in the area.
At least one policeman is reportedly injured. "A judicial probe has to be conducted", he said.