Cops launch assault on Naxals, kill 30
A combined team of the elite anti-Naxal force, the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action and the Chhat-tisgarh police killed around 30 Maoist rebels on Friday in Dantewada district, about 450 km south of state capital Raipur. Ejaz Kaiser reports.india Updated: Sep 19, 2009 01:45 IST
A combined team of the elite anti-Naxal force, the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) and the Chhat-tisgarh police killed around 30 Maoist rebels on Friday in Dantewada district, about 450 km south of state capital Raipur.
Five policemen, including an assistant commandant with COBRA, Manoranjan Singh, were also believed to have been killed. Officially, however, the police confirmed only eight Maoist deaths and that of the assistant commandant.
“It is difficult to give the exact figure. But the casualties among Maoists are much higher than we initially believed,” said T J Longkumer, Inspector General of Police, Bastar region, within which Dantewada falls.
On Thursday, the force, comprising around 650 policemen, found and destroyed an arms manufacturing base of the Maoists as part of its Operation Red Hunt in Palachalma forests near the state’s border with Andhra Pradesh.
On its way back on Friday, the team found and attacked another Maoist base. Two helicopters were used in the four-hour-long encounter.
Special Director General of the CRPF, Vijay Raman, chosen to lead the big anti-Maoist offensive, Operation Godavari, in Orissa, south Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, also arrived here to direct operations.
Operation Godavari follows Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s admission in different forums that Maoists were the “gravest internal security threat” the country is facing. He even admitted on Tuesday that the government had not had much success in tackling them.
The Maoists, active in around 180 of India’s 610 districts across seven states, have killed about 10,500 people in eight years.