Maoists shot in gunfight were planning big attack in Bastar: Security forces | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Maoists shot in gunfight were planning big attack in Bastar: Security forces

By, New Delhi
Apr 22, 2024 04:41 AM IST

Security forces suspected that insurgents had converged to carry out “a major attack” ahead of the general elections in Bastar

Security forces have identified all 29 Maoists who were shot dead in an encounter in Kanker last week, said officials aware of the matter, adding that the cadres were from zonal committees hundreds of kilometres away, indicating that the insurgents had converged to carry out “a major attack” ahead of the general elections in Bastar.

Security personnel during an encounter with Maoists in Kanker district on April 16, 2024. (PTI)
Security personnel during an encounter with Maoists in Kanker district on April 16, 2024. (PTI)

Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Police on Sunday said a Maoist was killed during an encounter with security forces in the state’s Bijapur district.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

“We suspect that ahead of the elections, the cadres of the MMC (Madhya Pradesh-Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh) zonal committee had assembled in the state to orchestrate attacks on security forces,” said an official aware of the investigation who asked not to be named, adding that the cadres were from Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Maharashtra.

Maoists are split into zonal committees that operate in strict and specific territories without veering into others. The MMC committee, for instance, operates only till Rajnandgaon, which is around 150km away from the encounter site in Kanker.

Also Read | At Kanker encounter site, signs of a fierce last stand

“They were holed up in a jungle, within an area of around 20x20 sq km, for a few weeks or maybe even a month. Our forces were continuously getting inputs about the congregation for some days before the encounter. They were holding meetings related to attacks on forces during elections,” said a second officer.

Kanker votes in the second phase of the general elections on April 26.

Officials on Sunday said they had identified Partarpur village area commanders Sukhlal, Shrikant and Jugni, three key men who were area commanders of the region, which was controlled by top Maoist commander Shankar Rao, who was also among the 29 killed.

Police have confirmed that at least 10 of them were MMC zonal committee members. Among them, one woman, Surekha, from Gadchiroli in Maharashtra, has been named in over a dozen cases by the state’s police. Another person was identified as Rita, a divisional committee member from Warangal district in Telangana.

Also Read | Chhattisgarh: Two commanders among Maoists killed in Kanker; nine identified

The insurgents were killed in an encounter with joint forces of the Chhattisgarh Police and the Border Security Force (BSF) in Kanker district, in what was the most significant single-incident blow to the Naxals in eight years, and the biggest blow ever in the state.

Three security personnel were also injured in the exchange of fire.

“Our personnel on the ground saw five or six armed women cadres fleeing to the jungle at the end of the gunfight. It is possible that they fled towards another state,” said the second official.

RK Vij, former special director general (anti-Naxal operations) of Chhattisgarh Police, said the presence of cadres from MMC (Madhya Pradesh-Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh) should be investigated.

“The presence of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra cadres is not a surprise. However, why MMC cadres were there is a matter of inquiry,” he said.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections Result, Lok Sabha Election 2024 Live, Lok Sabha Elections Results 2024, Weather Today along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Prawesh Lama covers crime, policing, and issues of security in Delhi. Raised in Darjeeling, educated in Mumbai, he also looks at special features on social welfare in the National Capital.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On