Just a day after Maoists claimed they did not lose any of their cadres in the April 11 ambush, the police on Tuesday produced a Maoist jan militia commander -- reportedly involved in the April 11 gunbattle – to claim 35 rebels were killed in the exchange of fire.
Sodi Rama, who reportedly surrendered on April 16 at Polampalli in Sukma, told reporters on Tuesday that he was part of the armed guerrilla group that ambushed the Chattisgarh STF at Pidmel and that he was armed with an INSAS rifle.
Speaking in the local Gondi dialect, Rama, alias Kanna, 40, produced before the media by additional director general of Police (anti-Maoist operation) RK Vij, claimed the Maoists lost 35 men, while 15 of their cadre sustained injuries.
Rama’s statement comes a day after the rebels claimed they had not lost any cadre to the April 11 encounter in which seven STF policemen were killed and 10 injured. Security forces had failed to recover the bodies of any rebels.
“The bodies of the Maoists were burnt near Dabbakonta in Sukma. Maoist commander Nagesh addressed the comrades citing the big loss of 35 cadres for the first time in any incident so far. He said this should not be discussed among the locals and that it be kept hidden from the government machinery,” he said.
Rama said the bloodshed and heavy casualties had led him to surrender. The Maoists were led by hardcore leaders of south Bastar division Arjun, Nagesh and Situ, he said.