Undeterred by the Maoists’ most lethal attack on security forces on Tuesday, the CRPF and Chhattisgarh Police have launched a massive manhunt for the perpetrators of the Dantewada massacre more than 48 hours after they struck.
Top CRPF officers led by Special Director General Vijay Raman and Director General Vikram Shrivastava and the state’s Director General of Police Vishwaranjan are camping in the Bastar region to oversee the operation.
“The operation has been intensified now under the supervision of top officials,” Bastar Inspector General of Police T.J. Longkumer told HT.
“We have certain information and our intensive search-and-hunt operation has begun to track down the Maoists in the deeply forested areas,” police spokesperson R.K. Vij said.
The police said that in view of the possibility that the Maoists might have escaped to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district, the three states have been asked to put their forces on high alert. Forces have also been rushed to the routes the Maoists might be using to flee from south Bastar, where Dantewada is located.
“The CRPF has reinforced its camps in core Naxal-infested areas and more forces of the state police have reached Dantewada to support the manhunt,” a top police officer said without wanting to be named.
The officer did not disclose how many personnel from the CRPF and state police have been deployed in the operation.
The security forces suspect that Tuesday’s attack, in which 75 CRPF personnel and a policeman were killed, was masterminded by CPI (Maoist) Politburo member Ganesh, who trains rebels of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army.
“There may be others also. We have already swung into action and just cannot just sit idle,” Vij said.
As a mark of respect for the 76 men who laid down their lives, Chhattisgarh observed a total shutdown called by the opposition Congress on Thursday.