A 32-year-old battle-hardened Maoist commander was the mastermind of an ambush on paramilitary forces in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma last week that killed 25 soldiers, the first information report of the incident has confirmed.
The FIR names Madvi Hidma, who reportedly got guerilla warfare training in the Philippines, as the main planner of the attack with other Maoists - Situ, Arjun , Appu Pada, Petti Hurra and others. HT had reported on April 26 that Hidma carried out the strike.
The complaint says about 200-250 Maoists surrounded the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans on April 24 and the encounter continued for about 90 minutes – the worst attack on the security forces in seven years.
A total of 72 (two parties of CRPF) security personnel including a Chhattisgarh police constable left the Burkapal camp at 6 am on April 24 to provide security for under-construction Dornapal-Jagargonda road.
Hidma, also known as Hidmalu and Santosh, is also believed to have been behind another deadly attack on March 11 that killed 12 security personnel.
Considered one of the most dreaded Maoist leaders in Bastar, Hidma was born in Purvati village of south Sukma. He has built up a reputation as a ruthless rebel leader who runs a network of dedicated informers across the region.
The FIR says that the two parties were moving along the Jagargonda road and later they took position about 1.5 km away from the Burkapal camp. At about 12.55 pm, about 250 Maoists including women attacked the security forces.
The Maoists were dressed in black and equipped with automatic rifles, bow and arrows, knifes and grenades, the FIR said. They started firing on both the parties and the soldiers retaliated in self-defence.
The FIR said because the Maoists cordoned off the area and injured some jawans. The CRPF in the FIR said the second party which tried to reach the encounter zone was prevented by heavy shelling by Maoists but they tried to move closer to the zone.
The information of the encounter was given to the Burakpal camp and senior officers through a wireless phone immediately after the encounter started.
The villagers, who were in civil clothes, looted the guns and ammunition from the spot and started running. Subsequently, Cobra battalion from Chintagufa reached the spot for help but by then, the Maoists had escaped, taking advantage of dense jungles.