Naxalite cadres in Chhattisgarh suffered a major setback last week with security forces, for the first time, storming the dense and inaccessible forests of Abujmadh.
In a joint operation by Chhattisgarh police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) over four days that concluded last Sunday, four Naxal cadres of the Peoples’ Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) were killed and three others arrested.
Two training camps with a capacity to train at least 100 cadres at a time were destroyed and a huge quantity of training literature, Maoist propaganda material was recovered in the operation.
The body of a senior PLGA cadre who was among those killed, has been recovered by security forces while the Naxalites managed to take away bodies of the rest of their slain cadres, officials said.
“It is for the first time that our forces entered these parts of the forests and conducted major operations successfully,” said Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Rajender Vij while speaking to the Hindustan Times.
The operation, which covered an area of 4,000 sq m in the south eastern range, was being planned for over a month by senior officials of the Chattisgarh police’s Special Task Force (STF), district police and the CRPF. A total of 800 security personnel were involved in the operation, police officials said.
The area falls within the 20,000 square km of so-called Liberated Zone, and has for long been considered to be a place from Naxal activities for most states are planned.
Earlier, attempts by security forces to storm this area have failed largely due to the inaccessible terrain and sound topographical knowledge of the Naxalites gained by them over years of uninterrupted activities in the forests.
During the four-day combing operation at least three fierce encounters took place. “The Naxalites used hand grenades and other weapons, but our forces were well trained and equipped. We did not loose any of our men,” said Vij.