11 Maoists killed in Bastar encounter
At least 11 Maoists were killed in an encounter that took place on July 28 in Sukma district of Bastar, police said on Wednesday. “On Monday, an encounter took place near Ramaram village in Sukma district. It was carried out by a joint team of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the COBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) and the district police, led by Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of CRPF, Mr.Upadhyay. Today, we have received information through our reliable sources of that area that ten more Maoists were killed in that encounter (apart from the one confirmed dead earlier),” Mr.S.R. Kalluri, the Inspector General (IG) of Police, Bastar range, told The Hindu over phone.
“However, we could recover only one dead body because our men were also injured and the villagers had also started surrounding that area,” added Mr.Kalluri. The IG also informed that the deceased Maoists include five commanders of Maoist militia and Local Operation Squad while one assistant commandant of the CRPF and two police constables suffered injuries. “The Maoists had gathered near Ramaram for the Martyrs’ week which is being observed in Bastar,” said the IG adding that only the CRPF DIG who led the operation would be able to divulge further details of the encounter. The IG (Operations) of the CRPF, Mr.H.S.Sidhhu said that 10 to 12 Maoists may have been killed in that encounter. “I cannot confirm the exact number of deaths but what Mr.Kalluri has said is correct because we are also getting the same information,” said Mr. Siddhu.
“The encounter took place when we (security forces) were carrying out an operation in that area. That area is a known to be the hardcore area of Maoists where their presence is heavy. The Maoists military company was probably there, who attacked us with the support of their local militia members,” Mr.Siddhu told The Hindu. According to Sukma district Superintendent of Police (SP) D.Shrawan, the encounter took place outside Ramaram village and the security forces had cordoned off the village when the Maoists fired from the forest area.
Maoists put up martyrs’ memorial in Chintur
Maoists reportedly erected a makeshift martyrs’ memorial near Mallampeta, a forest fringe village in Chintur mandal, bordering Chhattisgarh, in the early hours of Tuesday. According to sources, the Naxalites erected the memorial made of posters in the forest area close to the inter-state border with Chhattisgarh on the second day of the martyrs’ memorial week. The Maoists reportedly hung banners in the name of the Sabari Area Committee calling upon people to observe the week till August 2.
The banners contained slogans hailing Charu Mazumdar and other slain Maoist leaders. Maoist posters have sprung up in some interior villages in Charla and Kunavaram mandals in the Agency in the past three days. The Bhadrachalam division police have intensified vigil in the interior areas.
Govt deploys 1,000 fresh BSF personnel to bolster anti-Naxal ops
The government has deployed a fresh contingent of about 1,000 Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in Chhattisgarh to bolster anti-Naxal operations in the state. The specially trained contingent of the paramilitary will be inducted to operate in Kanker district of the state, situated in the southern part of the state just above Bastar. BSF already has seven similar units in the same district for these operations.
Strength of the Maoist groups is around 8,500: Govt
Government, on Wednesday, said the cadre strength of the Maoist organisations is around 8,500 and they have forged tactical understanding with some insurgent groups in the Northeast for procuring arms and ammunition. “As per available reports, the estimated armed cadre strength of the Left Wing Extremist groups is around 8,500. However, their support base is in larger number,” Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju informed Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
The Minister said the Naxals are using sophisticated weapons like LMG, AK-47 etc. for attacks on security forces and notwithstanding some setbacks in the recent times, the CPI(Maoist) retains its core armed strength and the capacity to launch spectacular attacks. He said LWE groups recruit a large number of youth every year and as per reports available, in 2013, these groups recruited around 433 cadres from the LWE affected states.
14 days’ jail custody for Maoist leader Arvind Bachhar
Top Maoist leader Arvind Bachhar was today remanded to 14 days’ jail custody by a local court in a sedition case. Additional chief judicial magistrate Krishna Murari Prasad Gupta gave the order when Bachhar was produced before his court. Bachhar was arrested on July 27 from Baduria in North 24-Parganas district. He was wanted in a number of cases including that of a major blast in Jhitka forest in Jhargram of West Midnapore district.
CRPF reworks strategy to defuse IED threat
NEW DELHI: More security force personnel were killed in IED blasts in the Maoist zone than by bullets, reveal official figures. So, the CRPF has decided to re-orient its combat strategy to counter IEDs, used effectively by Maoists to inflict heavy damage on security forces. “Though the CRPF has superior firepower and fighting skills, IEDs planted by the rebels in the Maoist zone sometimes pose a lethal surprise. We have lost our men while detecting or defusing IEDs and also to undetected IEDs,” said a senior CRPF officer after a recently-concluded operations conference. Maoists prefer Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to bullets as explosives required to make them are easily available. “The Maoists operate in areas rich in minerals and mines. Leakage of explosives used in mining activities land up with Maoists,” said CRPF director-general Dilip Trivedi.