Security forces walked 60 km in dense forest before Abhujhmaad encounter: Police - Hindustan Times
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Security forces walked 60 km in dense forest before Abhujhmaad encounter: Police

May 01, 2024 08:53 PM IST

The Chhattisgarh Police said the intermittent firing between security forces and Maoists in Abhujhmaad forest lasted for about 16 hours from 5am till 8pm

The security forces walked around 60 km in the dense forest of Abhujhmaad in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district to reach the spot where 10 Maoist cadres were killed in an encounter on Tuesday, senior police officers said. Around 900 security personnel were present in the combined team which reached the encounter spot along the borders of Narayanpur and Kanker districts, where high-ranking Maoist cadres were camping, they added.

Ten Maoist cadres were killed in an encounter with security forces in Chhattisgarh’s Abhujhmaad forest on Tuesday. (Narayanpur Police)
Ten Maoist cadres were killed in an encounter with security forces in Chhattisgarh’s Abhujhmaad forest on Tuesday. (Narayanpur Police)

“The operation titled ‘Maad Bachao Abhiyan’ (operation save Abhujhmaad) was launched on April 28 night based on inputs about presence of high-ranking cadres in forests that share border with Maharashtra. A total of 240 personnel of the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and 590 of the Special Task Force (STF), the state’s elite anti-naxal force, had set out from different camps in Narayanpur and Kanker districts on the operation,” inspector general of police, Bastar range, Sunderaj P said while addressing a press conference on Wednesday.

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Security forces undertook an exhaustive search spanning the entire region, covering a staggering distance of 60 km, beating arduous terrain and formidable challenges, he said.

On Tuesday at around 5am, when security forces were cordoning off forest near Tekmeta-Kakur villages, Maoists, who were camping there, opened indiscriminate fire on them, prompting security personnel to retaliate. The intermittent firing lasted for about 16 hours till 8pm, IG said.

The majority of the killed Maoists were from the Gadchiroli Division of Maoists, with links to the press team, and hailed from Telangana, Maharashtra and Bastar (Chhattisgarh), he said.

Eight of the ten cadres have so far been identified and they were collectively carrying a reward of 63 lakh on their heads, he said.

Four of them were identified as Joganna (66) alias Ghissu (native of Telangana)- special zonal committee member of Maoists, Mallesh alias Unga Madkam (41)– divisional committee member, Vinay alias Ravi (55) (Telangana)- divisional committee member and Sangita Doge Atram (36)- area committee member and wife of Jaganna, he said.

“At least 196 cases of offence were registered against Joganna in Maharashtra and he was carrying a reward of 25 lakh on his head. Similarly, 43 cases were lodged against Mallesh and eight cases against Vinay in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra and the duo were carrying a reward of 8 lakh each on their head”, IG said.

“Sangita was carrying a reward of 5 lakh on her head”, he said.

One Ak-47 rifle with one magazine and 26 live rounds, one INSAS rifle, two .303 rifles, one .315 rifle, one 12 bore rifle with 7 live rounds, four muzzle loading guns, one Barrel Grenade Launcher with 4 live grenade shells and other ammunition and explosives were recovered from the spot, he said.

Besides, a computer, printer machine, satellite communication device, JCB earth excavating machine, commodities of daily use, Maoist literature, solar plates and utensils were also recovered from the spot, he said.

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