A “suspected” Maoist, who came to surrender at a police station in south Chhattisgarh’s strife-torn Bijapur district, fled with modern sophisticated weapons, senior officials said on Thursday.
According to Bijapur Police, Markam Deva expressed his wish to surrender at the Basaguda police station and fled moments after being interrogated by officials late on Wednesday.
“During the break in the interrogation, that we usually do for any rebel ahead of their surrender process, Deva, who claimed himself as a Maoist, fled from the thana carrying one AK-47, 90 live cartridges, one Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) and around 10 grenades,” Bijapur superintendent of police, KL Dhruv, told Hindustan Times.
There were at least 50 policemen in the police station in the Maoist-affected area when the 23-year-old man escaped, the district police chief said.
“We have launched a manhunt and (are) also inquiring as to how the unexpected incident occurred. Perhaps, Deva took advantage of the situation when all the personnel came out for routine attendance at the station leaving him alone inside,” Dhruv added.
The is the first case of its kind when a Maoist deceived the police on the pretext of surrendering and fled with weapons in Bastar.
The powerful UBGL, that was looted, is capable of launching air bursting grenades with an effective range of some 400 metres distance to target.
Maoists are present in at least 16 out of the 27 districts in Chhattisgarh but are most active in Bastar. Bijapur is one of the seven districts that is worst affected by Maoist violence in Bastar.