Security forces in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar intensify anti-Maoist ops
Thousands of security force personnel have intensified their operations in the core Maoist areas and strongholds this year as their area domination strategy in all the seven districts of Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region, senior officials have said.
The special operational teams of the district reserve guard (DRG), special task force (STF) and Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have started massive combing operations before Maoists’ tactical counter-offensive campaign or TCOC, during which the rebels carry out attacks between April and July every year.
“We have launched operation ‘Prahar 2020’ in which about 2500 security personnel are in the core areas of Maoists for operations. We have got major success in dominating the area till now,” director general of police (DGP) DM Awasthi said.
“During the last two months in more than 16 exchange of fire between the Maoists and security forces, the bodies of five Maoist has been recovered whereas 59 Maoist cadres have been arrested. And, 35 Maoist cadres decided to shun violence and surrendered,” Bastar’s inspector general of police Sundarraj Patilingam said while speaking to HT.
As a part of this strategy recently, the teams of DRG, STF, CoBRA operated in Tondamarka or Bade Kedwal area, considered to be stronghold area of Batallion No 01 of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), the armed wing of the banned Communist Party of India Maoist), in January and February.
“As an outcome of the operations, one unidentified male Maoist dead body was recovered after an exchange of fire near Tondamarka. During the operation, one STF jawan Madavi Podiya got injured but was safely airlifted to Raipur,” Sundarraj Patilingam said.
“Now his condition is stable and recovering well,” he said.
The senior police officer added that the operations were also conducted in Narayanpur, where security forces gunned down a Maoist.
Police officers believe the strategy of intensifying operations in the region will work.
“There are two reasons for intensifying the operations. Firstly, pre-TCOC domination, which means who dominates in February- March will set the rhythm for what happens April to June. And secondly, with all elections over, the state government has decided to take the battle to the finish line,” an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer posted in Bastar said.
“The message is clear. Hit the top Maoists, spare the militias. Armed action in core areas and civic action in mild to moderately affected areas are working. We are focusing on liberating as much land as possible on trust-based operations,” the officer, who did not want to be named, said.