File photo: Maoist rebels train in a forest area in Bihar's Gaya district.(AP)
File photo: Maoist rebels train in a forest area in Bihar's Gaya district.(AP)

‘23 Maoists were killed in Minpa encounter which took place in March’: Bastar Police

On March 21, in an encounter with police near the jungles of Minpa village of Sukma, total 17 security forces were killed.
Hindustan Times, Raipur | By Ritesh Mishra | Edited by Sparshita Saxena
UPDATED ON SEP 12, 2020 11:50 PM IST

Bastar Police claimed that a total of 23 Maoist cadres were killed in Minpa encounter which took place in March this year between Maoists and security forces in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district of Bastar division.

Inspector-General of Police, Bastar range, Sunderaj P, issued a press release on Saturday and claimed that the recent letters of communication between Maoist leaders, recovered from an encounter on September 8, suggest that a total 23 Maoists were killed in Minpa encounter.

On March 21, in an encounter with police near the jungles of Minpa village of Sukma, total 17 security forces were killed. Two days after the encounter, the Maoists released a press note and claimed that three of their cadres also got killed in the encounter.

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“On September 8, a joint operation was launched by Sukma police from Bheji and Elarmadgu camp towards Pentapad-Entapad jungle area based on an intelligence input about the presence of CPI Maoist cadres of Konta/Kistaram Area Committee. After the encounter, we recovered a few letters from the spot. The security forces, while translating one of the letters addressed to a senior cadre from South Bastar Division in Gondi dialect, learnt that the Maoists suffered huge casualties of 23 cadres during the Minpa encounter which took place on March 21, 2020. A couple of days after the encounter, the Maoists claimed through a press release that only three Maoists of PLGA Battalion No 01 were killed by security forces which was not correct,” IG Sunderaj told Hindustan Times.

“We had information that around 30 Maoists were killed in the encounter and now the letter corroborated the fact. In order to keep up the morale of their lower cadres, Maoists normally don’t disclose the details about huge casualties they suffer during an encounter with the security forces. The police have gathered information in villages of Jagargunda and West Bastar Division area and learnt about the huge casualties suffered by Naxals in the Minpa encounter,” the IG said.

The officer further stated that after the analysis of the recovered documents, it was revealed that the Maoists are experiencing tremendous hardship during Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown period.

“They have an acute shortage of provisioning and supply network have been chocked due to 24×7 check posts of the security forces along the interstate and inter-district borders. Medicine and ration supply remains the main area of concern for the red guerrillas during this period,” the release stated.

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