Avenging the Sukma attack, security forces claim to have gunned down 12-15 Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Basaguda-Chintalnar area on Sunday.
Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore reports.
In a four-day long joint combing operation, the 204th Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force, District Reserve Guards and the Special Task Force of the Chhattisgarh police killed 12-15 Naxals in the Basaguda-Chintalnar area, a supposedly Maoist stronghold that lies at the junction of the state’s Bijapur and Sukma districts.
Incidentally, neither the dead bodies nor any arms and ammunition was recovered after the ambush, which continued till late evening on Sunday, nor have the Naxals issued any statement about the deaths.
The operation was conducted days after the Maoist attack on a CRPF contingent claimed the lives of 25 troopers.
Deputy Inspector General, Dantewada range, P Sundarraj, who recently replaced controversial Inspector General SRP Kalluri, told Rediff.com over the phone that based on the feedback received from local villagers and the jawans who were part of the operation, 12-15 Naxals were killed on the evening of Sunday, May 14, in a gunfight between the Maoists and the security forces.
“While a jawan of the STF has been martyred in this incident, two constables of the DRG were injured, but out of danger,” he said.
“The two DRG guards were airlifted to a hospital in Raipur and are safe,” he added.
Taking advantage of the topography and night cover, the Naxals retreated from the ambush site, the DIG said.
Apparently, there were 100-150 Maoists who were waiting to lay a Burkapal-like ambush in Basaguda-Chintalnar area but since the security forces were ready for this eventuality in the wake of the April 24 killings, the Maoists could not inflict any harm, the DIG claimed.
“Few of these Maoists were wearing uniforms that the CRPF’s CoBra Battalion wears and few were wearing the Maoists’ black uniform,” Sundarraj said.
“In the initial exchange of firing on the morning of May 14, two of our jawans got injured and were immediately evacuated by Indian Air Force helicopters from the spot. Later in the evening, as the combing operations continued, the Maoists attacked again in which one of our STF jawan was martyred,” he said.
The DIG said the Naxals did not suffer substantial casualties during the morning ambush and so they continued to track the troop’s movements, regrouped themselves and attacked the security forces again as the sun was setting.
"After the Maoists suffered heavy casualties in the evening of May 14, they stopped tracking our movements and our jawans reached their camps on May 16,” Sundarraj said.
“We had general information about the military battalion of the Naxals in that area and so we were ready for such attacks by them.”
Talking about the road-building exercise in the Maoist strongholds coming to a halt, Sundarraj said, “Those jawans who were assigned for this exercise have been asked to join the combing operations against the Naxals as we are going ahead with some serious operations against them after the Burkapal ambush.”
“The road-building exercise is continuing in areas where the Naxals don’t have their strongholds but it has not stopped completely,” he added.