Ramgarh falls to security forces, Naxals retreat to the jungles

However, in the gunfight to delay the advance of the security forces, the retreating Naxals detonated at least four mines and opened fire on the jawans at Pathardanga, Sialtor and Mahultol different points, a top police official said.

Before fleeing, the Naxals torched an office of the Leftist trade union AITUC when they were refused shelter in a house barely half an hour before the security forces entered Ramgarh.

“We’ve secured Ramgarh and now plan to re-open the police station and start a camp. Police will restore normalcy as the operations will continue,” IG CID (Special Operations Group) Siddhinath Gupta told newsmen at Ramgarh.

He was flanked by West Midnapore Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma who declined to share information on the casualty, if any, on the side of the forces.

In a scissor attack from two sides, forces in the second phase of the offensive on Saturday headed from Lalgarh in the south and Kadasole in the north, which they had already reclaimed on Friday.

But even though the jawans managed to overcome stiff resistance from the Left wing ultras at Mohultol and Sialtor off Kadasole before making it to Ramgarh around 3 pm, they could not proceed beyond Pathardanga in the south in the wake of the heavily-mined stretch.

No match

While forces took time in defusing 13 mines of varied capacity by firing at them from a safe distance, three landmines exploded as 10 companies comprising 1,000 men of the CRPF, the India Reserve Battalion and Rapid Action force set out from Kadasole, braving heavy rain and overran the Maoists at Mohultol.

The ultras were no match in the fire-fight as the troopers retaliated with AK-47s, mortars and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

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