For the third time in three days, Maoists targeted security personnel in Chhattisgarh, killing three Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troops in Dantewada, south Bastar.
In an email to HT, a local CPI(Maoist) spokesperson said the attacks were to counter the "repressive policies" of the state and a part of their Janpituri Saptah (people's revolution week)' in Bastar from June 5-11.The twin attack on the CRPF base camp and the adjacent Bhejji police station, 550 km from Raipur, was conducted by over 100 guerillas at around 7am Saturday.
The planning was meticulous. While one group ambushed 50 patrolling CRPF men, another opened fire at the police station to prevent the policemen from coming to their aid. The roads leading to the CRPF camp had already been blocked.
In the three-hour gunbattle, three CRPF men died, said Ankit Garg, superintendent of police, Dantewada. Another three, seriously injured, were hospitalised.
The dead are head constable G Angole, 45, from Maharashtra, constable Jogendra Kumar, 36, from J&K and constable Hussain Ansari, 25, from Chhattisgarh.
The Maoists carried away three AK-47 rifles, three bullet-proof jackets and a wireless set.
The rebels lost 10 of their own men, said TJ Longkumer, inspector general of police, Bastar. But no bodies were recovered.
In Delhi, the home ministry has called a meeting on Monday to discuss the Maoist situation.
The utility of anti-landmine vehicles is under review, since one was blown apart during an attack in Dantewada around midnight Thursday. Ten securitymen died in that attack.
Lack of facilities at armed camps is under review too. An attack in Narayanpur on Thursday morning took place when the Chhattisgarh Armed Forces personnel had gone out to relieve themselves. Five men died.
Inputs from HT Correspondent, Bastar & New Delhi