Over 300 CRPF personnel and commandos are carrying out combing operations in the Dantewada forest area
In an overnight crackdown, CRPF jawans gunned down 20 Naxals, including a woman in the forests of Dantewada in Chhattisgarh late on Thursday night. Six jawans were also injured in the crackdown.
The encounter took place in the Silger jungle, an uncharted Maoist zone between Jagargunda and Basaguda in Bijapur district of Bastar region. Maoists had killed 75 CRPF men in the same area in April 2010.
The CRPF had mobilised three units of commandos and regular troops, aided by two helicopters for the encounter from three directions – Jagargunda, Chintalnar and Basaguda area. Sources said that there was heavy exchange of gunfire from both sides till Friday morning.
Over 300 CRPF personnel and state police took part in the crackdown. Some CRPF officials said that two prominent Naxals, operating in the Bijapur-Dantewada region were killed in the encounter.
Chhattisgarh ADG (Naxal Operations) Ram Nivas said that so far 17 bodies of the ultras have been recovered from the spot. “The combing operation is still underway and the toll will rise.
There were reports of three more Maoists being killed. “Two rebels, who were injured in the encounter, were apprehended and have been air-lifted for medical treatment to Raipur,” a senior CRPF official said.
“The forces have also recovered weapons and other belongings from the Naxals hideout,“ CRPF Inpector General (Operations) Pankaj Singh said. Keeping in view the tough terrain and armed Naxal groups, the CRPF had deputed a DIG and two Commandant rank officers, supported by an Additional SP of state police, to lead the operation.
The encounter comes over a month after Maoists had abducted and released Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon, in Bastar region.
► The forces have recovered weapons and other belongings from the Maoist hideout in the forest
- Pakaj Singh, CRPF Inspector General
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