Suspected Maoists shot dead three villagers Tuesday in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district on suspicion that their tip-off to police led to killing of 40 ultras in a massive operation in the region last year, a police official said.
A group of around 150 armed naxals from Chhattisgarh entered Kasnasur village near Kosfundi phata in Bhamragad taluka, around 950 kms from here in the wee hours, and went to the houses of Malu Madavi, Kanna Madavi and Lalsu Kudyeti, a police official said.
The ultras dragged them outside their houses and shot them dead, he said.
The official said the Maoists suspected that the trio had tipped the police about their presence in forests which resulted into the Kasnur-Tumirgunda operation in this east Maharashtra district in April last year.
While leaving the village, Maoists put up a banner stating that they were avenging the April 2018 deaths of their comrades, he said.
Police forces have been rushed to Bhamragad, which is located on borders of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, he said, adding that further investigation is underway.
The official said Tuesday's incident was the first attack on villagers in Gadchiroli district after Maoist Nambala Keshav Tao alias Basavraju took over from Ganapathy, a top leader of the naxal movement.