Big blow to 'red terror' in Chhattisgarh after successful anti-Naxal operation

The bodies of the deceased Maoists, comprising 15 women and 14 men, were retrieved and brought to Kanker late evening on Tuesday. Each of them had substantial rewards on their heads.
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 13:13 IST
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 13:13 IST

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Bhopal: The so-called 'red terror' unleashed by Naxals in Chhattisgarh suffered a big blow on Tuesday following a successful anti-Naxalite operation by security forces, involving both the BSF and DRG. A total of 29 Maoists were killed.

Unfortunately, three security personnel — one inspector and two constables — were also injured but their condition is now stable. The bodies of the deceased Maoists, comprising 15 women and 14 men, were retrieved and brought to Kanker late evening on Tuesday. Each of them had substantial rewards on their heads.

Among them was Commander Shankar Rao (Rs 25 lakhs reward), Lalita (Rs 10 lakhs reward) and Vinod Mandve (Rs 8 lakh reward).

The Panchnama, identification and post-mortem with the help of FSL team was conducted in the Kanker medical college hospital on Wednesday.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, while taking cognizance of the matter, complemented security forces and state government for the successful operation. Shah claimed the BJP government’s zero-tolerance policy against 'red terror' will intensify in the coming months and restore normalcy in Chhattisgarh.

State Deputy CM and home affairs minister Vijay Sharma is also keeping a close watch on the fast-developing situation, especially in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections.

The Bastar Lok Sabha constituency's election is scheduled in the first phase, on April 19. Sharma also met the injured personnel in the hospital after their condition had stabilised.

Sharma refuted the Congress charge that the whole operation was a 'fake encounter', slamming former CM Bhupesh Baghel for mocking the brave soldiers with his 'irresponsible' comments.

Meanwhile, the successful operation is set to restore public confidence in the ruling party and encourage a further push to development projects in the Naxal-affected area.

According to information, the Naxalists perform the TCOC (tactical counter offensive campaign) during March, April and May with the aim to resurrect and re-energise cadres to conduct and outline further operations.

On a tip off, the security forces were dispatched to the location around Choti Bethiya of Narayanpur area in Kanker district. A well-trained group (encounter specialists) of 187 security personnel travelled overnight on foot through rough terrain and dense forest to reach a designated spot early on Tuesday morning.

But then there came a twist with a sudden location shift by the Naxalites, following leaked information about the police operation. The controlling command unit in Kanker police headquarter had to re-strategize on the fly with great difficulty, passing messages without a network connection in Choti Bethiya location.

However, the highly motivated team of security forces had no plans to back down and continued to advance as soon as the new plan of movement was revealed.

Finally, police encircled and zeroed in on the location which had a large presence of Maoists, who after sensing the police presence, opened fire.

After cordoning off all escape routes, the police resorted to full blown shootout with the Maoists, which continued for about 4 hours — from about 12 noon to 4 pm on Tuesday.

According to reports, there were at least 30 to 40 Naxalites from the Pratappur area committee present at the location. But only 29 were eliminated, while the others managed to escape, taking advantage of dense forest.

SP Kanker IK Elesela reportedly said that it is quite possible that the ones who escaped had injuries and would hopefully be captured too. The combing operation in the area was underway. It is the end of the Pratappur area committee that orchestrated large-scale red terror in the region, he added.

Published 17 April 2024, 13:13 IST

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