In Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada, cops find 130-metre long tunnel built by Maoists | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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In Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada, cops find 130-metre long tunnel built by Maoists

Jan 31, 2024 05:46 PM IST

Dantewada SP Gaurav Rai said the camouflaged tunnel was detected by a jawan of the district reserve guard that comprises local tribal youth

RAIPUR: Security forces returning after a gunfight with Maoists on Tuesday spotted a 130 metre-long tunnel built as an underground hideout in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district, people familiar with the matter said.

The Dantewada Police released a video of the tunnel spotted by a DRG jawan returning after an operation (Videograb/Chhattisgarh Police)
The Dantewada Police released a video of the tunnel spotted by a DRG jawan returning after an operation (Videograb/Chhattisgarh Police)

Dantewada superintendent of police (SP) Gaurav Rai said the 10-foot deep tunnel was first detected by a jawan of the district reserve guard (DRG) that comprises local tribal youth. “The hideout was camouflaged and no one saw it but one of our jawans of the district reserve guard managed to discover it. This is probably the biggest hideout we have discovered in the region till now,” Rai said.

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“We believe that it was basically a hideout of Maoists during the movement of force. However, it can be used for other purposes including ambush trapping police force,” the SP said.

Rai said the security personnel were returning to their base camp in Bhairamgarh after a gunfight with Maoists 12km from the Bhairamgarh police station in the Abujhmad forest area.

The security forces had been mobilised following intelligence reports that indicated the presence of 25-30 armed Maoists, including a high-ranking divisional committee member of CPI (Maoist) Mallesh in the area bordering Dantewada-Bijapur districts. “The forces engaged with the Maoists near Tadopat village and forced them to flee into the jungles. When they were returning, they found this tunnel meticulously built by the Maoists,” said Rai.

In a statement, the Dantewada police said some Maoists were likely to have been killed in the gunfight but underlined that they did not find any bodies.

A video of the tunnel shared by the district police showed how the Maoists had covered the access points to the tunnel with mud and sticks. The narrow tunnel had an opening every six metres.

Experts believe that such hideouts were found earlier in the Abujhmad area and were mainly used as hideouts for senior Maoist leaders.

“It is a sort of bunker which is made as a hideout for senior members. One can walk in that bunker and there is an opening for light which suggests that it is for some senior leader… The area is in Abujhmad where many senior members live,” said RK Vij, a retired Indian Police Service officer who has served as special director general (anti-naxal operations).

Vij also said that such tunnels and bunkers had been found previously too.

“In 2012, an 80 metre-long tunnel was found in Bijapur that was used by senior Maoist leader Ganapathi. Later, in the Kerper area of Bijapur, we found a tunnel that was used for storage of computers and other equipment,” said Vij.

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