128 Naxals, 100 policemen killed in 543 encounters in last 3 years
Chhattisgarh government today said 128 Naxals and 100 policemen were killed in gun battles over the last three years in the state. In a written reply to a question raised by Congress MLA Deepak Baij, state Panchayat Minister Ajay Chandrakar, who is in-charge of the Home department, said, “543 encounters took place between police and Naxalites from 2013 till January 2016 in the Maoist-affected districts of Chhattisgarh.” 128 Naxals were killed while 100 security personnel also lost their lives in the gun battles. Besides, 210 security personnel and eight Naxals were injured in the exchanges of gunfire, he said.
Naxalites trying to rebuild base: MHA
Patna: Hit by intensive combat operations and encounters by the security forces, Naxalites are trying to rebuild their base, says an input sent by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to the principal secretaries (home) of all the states affected by Left wing extremism. Bihar and Jharkhand police recently held a joint meeting to intensify the combing operations in the border districts of the two states to thwart any untoward incident before the panchayat polls in Bihar. According to police, the Naxalites have been holding meetings in deep forest areas since the announcement of 10-phase panchayat election in Bihar.
“The MHA input was based on the interrogation of Gajrala Ashok alias Prasad by Chhattisgarh police. Prasad was former member of Dandakaranya special zonal committee and in-charge of western regional unified command of CPI (Maoist). Gajrala revealed that the renegade groups have been preventing the Maoists from expanding their base in Bihar and Jharkhand despite major losses in recent encounters,” a police official said. The input maintained that the CPI (Maoist) is trying to improve its cadre skills in using arms, develop secondary leadership, induct more women and mass work in villages. The police source said after the recent casualty and arrests in Aurangabad, Jamui, Gaya, Jehanabad, Saran and other districts, the Maoists have been on the defensive.
“The outfit is now keen on protecting its senior leaders/central committee members. It has decided to keep only its state, regional and special committee members informed about its cadres’ movement. It has also decided to set up camps away from water body in the forests while holding Jan Militia and arms training,” said the source quoting the MHA input. The Maoists have decided not to get involved in small or medium encounters with the security forces as they are short of ammunition. Only if there is no way out then Maoists will get engaged in encounters. IG (operations) Sushil M Khopde said, “Due to surrender by its cadres with arms and casualty in encounters, they are trying to influence the villagers and panchayat polls will be an opportunity for them. But we are also taking necessary actions to prevent any violence by the Maoists during the panchayat polls.”