6 of eight Maoists killed in Narayanpur encounter were most wanted: Chhattisgarh Police | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

6 of eight Maoists killed in Narayanpur encounter were most wanted: Chhattisgarh Police

By, Raipur
Jun 17, 2024 01:54 AM IST

Chhattisgarh Police identified six senior Maoists killed in Narayanpur encounter with ₹48 lakh reward. 131 Maoists killed in Chhattisgarh this year.

Six of the eight Maoists killed in the Narayanpur encounter on Saturday were senior-rank cadres with a cumulative cash reward of 48 lakh as most-wanted insurgents, Chhattisgarh Police said on Sunday as they identified the six men.

A security official who suffered injuries during an encounter with Maoists being treated, on Saturday. (PTI)
A security official who suffered injuries during an encounter with Maoists being treated, on Saturday. (PTI)

Three of the Maoists were divisional committee members of the CPI (Maoist) and three others were members of the Maad division of the People’s Liberation of Guerrilla Army (PLGA) company number 3 of the Maoists, the officials said.

“Six of the eight killed cadres were identified as Sudru, Vargesh, Mamta, Samira, Kosi and Moti, who were active at different capacities and carrying a reward of 8 lakh each on their heads,” inspector general of police, Bastar range Sundarraj P told the media.

The identity of two other Maoists was yet to be ascertained, he said.

An operation under the security forces’ anti-Maoist “Maad Bachao Abhiyan” was launched late on June 12 after inputs about the presence of Maoist cadres in Kutul, Farasbeda, Kodtameta and Adingpar villages of the district, the IG said.

Personnel from the state police’s District Reserve Guard (DRG) and STF, along with the 53rd battalion of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and 135th battalion of the Border Security Force (BSF) took part in the operation, he said, adding that women commandos also delivered a key role.

Around 7am on Saturday, armed Maoists opened fire on security personnel in a forest near Kutul-Farasbeda and Kodtameta villages leading to the gunbattle.

Police immediately took position and called for surrender, but the Maoists ignored and started firing, he said, adding: “The police party took position on the spot for self-defence and retaliated by firing. Thereafter, intermittent encounters took place with different teams throughout the day. After seeing themselves surrounded, the Maoists ran to save their lives by taking cover of dense forests and hills.”

After the encounter ended, the bodies of eight uniform-clad Maoists, including four women, were recovered from different places, the IG said. Several other Maoists escaped taking cover of dense forest and hills, he said.

The forces recovered one INSAS rifle, two .303 rifles, three .315 bore rifles, one barrel grenade launcher (BGL) and large quantities of explosives, medicines and other daily-use items.

Bloodstains at the site indicate that several other Maoists might have been injured or killed in the gunfight, he said.

STF constable, Nitesh Ekka (27), was killed in the encounter and two of his colleagues, Lekhram Netam (28) and Kailash Netam (33), were injured. They have been admitted to a hospital in capital Raipur.

A day after the encounter, Chhattisgarh chief minister Vishnu Deo Sai met one of the injured soldiers.

“The encounter which took place yesterday in Narayanpur district claimed the life of one jawan, constable Nitesh Ekka... In the same encounter, two other jawans were injured. I met one of them who got hit by a bullet in his stomach. The other one is being operated upon. I pray to God for his well-being,” Sai said.

Since December, 2023, there has been a clear uptick in aggression from security forces, which have created 17 new forward camps in what were thus far thought to be core Maoist-controlled areas.

This includes areas inside Abhujmaad, a 4,000-square-kilometre expanse of forests that straddles Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. Abhujhmaad is an amalgamation of the Gondi words “Abujh” and “Maad” that translates to the “hills of the unknown” — an area that is yet unmapped by the government of India.

Several attempts at conducting preliminary surveys in the region have taken place since 2017, but each has been stymied by the extremely difficult geography, complete lack of infrastructure, and heavy Maoist fortification. It is because of this administrative vacuum, that most security officers in Bastar refer to the area as the “last bastion of the Maoists”, where the senior-most cadre, including the politburo and the central committee, of the CPI(Maoist) take refuge through the year.

With Saturday’s incident, 131 Maoists have been killed so far this year in separate encounters with security forces in Chhattisgarh, much higher than 2023 when 22 ultras were killed.

On June 7, seven Maoists were killed in Narayanpur in an encounter with security forces while on May 23, seven Maoists were killed in an encounter in a forest on Narayanpur-Bijapur inter-district border.

On May 10, 12 Maoists were killed in an encounter with security forces in Bijapur district.

Ten Maoists, including three women, were killed in an encounter with security personnel in a forest along the border of Narayanpur and Kanker districts on April 30.

Before that, 29 Maoists were gunned down in an encounter with security forces in the state’s Kanker district on April 16, according to police.

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