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Crackdown on Naxalites underway in Chhattisgarh

The drive in the Bastar region of the state is a low-key but large operation fine-tuned by former super cop KPS Gill.

india Updated: Sep 28, 2006 13:16 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

The CRPF has launched a crackdown against Naxalites in insurgency-hit Bastar region of Chhattisgarh to recapture areas "liberated" by the rebels, a low-key but massive operation fine-tuned by former super cop KPS Gill.

The monsoon thrust, planned to surprise Naxalites who usually lie low during the rainy season, began towards the end of August and is progressing without much bloodshed, top officials of the force said in New Delhi.

The strategy is to conduct surprise raids on the basis of intelligence reports and the CRPF has so far apprehended over 100 rebels and killed two, besides seizing huge quantities of arms and ammunition.

Official figures show that there were 24 shootouts between CRPF personnel and Naxals in August and September, with the force losing only one jawan. Nine persons were injured during the operations.

However, the "deep penetration operation" has slowed down at several places after Naxalites destroyed government primary health centres and schools -- potential shelters for the CRPF personnel.

"They destroyed over 30 such structures this month alone and are distributing leaflets warning villagers against extending help to the security forces," a senior officer said.

The operation, planned by CRPF Director General JK Sinha and Gill, was launched in the wake of a Naxal raid on a relief camp for displaced people in Dantewada district in July that left at least 29 people dead and over 80 injured.

First Published: Sep 28, 2006 13:16 IST