Seven Maoists gunned down in Chhattisgarh as forces continue offensive | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Seven Maoists gunned down in Chhattisgarh as forces continue offensive

By, Raipur
May 24, 2024 06:00 AM IST

Since December, 2023, there has been a clear uptick in aggression from security forces, who have created 17 new forward camps.

Seven Maoists were killed in an encounter with security personnel in a forest in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh, state police said on Thursday, taking the total number of deaths of alleged insurgents to 112 this year.

The Bastar region, which includes seven districts -- Bastar, Dantewada, Sukma, Bijapur, and the nearby regions of Kondagaon and Narayanpur --- are where the core of the fight against the Maoist insurgency is focussed. (HT PHOTO)
The Bastar region, which includes seven districts -- Bastar, Dantewada, Sukma, Bijapur, and the nearby regions of Kondagaon and Narayanpur --- are where the core of the fight against the Maoist insurgency is focussed. (HT PHOTO)

Also Read: 30 Maoists surrender before security forces in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur

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Police claimed to have recovered seven weapons and Maoist materials from the spot. Officials said that around 1,000 personnel from three police districts --- Bastar, Narayanpur and Dantewada --- where involved in the operation, which went on till the time of going to print late on Thursday.

The Narayanpur police in a statement said the encounter began around 11am. “A joint team of the District Reserve Guard (DRG) of Narayanpur, Bastar and Dantewada and Special Task Force (STF) was out on an anti-Naxal operation on Wednesday night after specific input of Maoists leaders of Platoon number 16 of CPI (Maoist) and members of Indrawati Area Committee. At around 11 am on Thursday an exchange of fire started. After the exchange of fire stopped, bodies of two Maoists have been recovered by Narayanpur police and more details are awaited,” the statement said.

Also Read: 3 Maoists, including 2 women, killed in encounter in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli

Superintendent of Police of Dantewada, Gaurav Rai, said five bodies were recovered by the Dantewada DRG. “Two bodies were recovered by Narayanpur police in the morning and in the evening, Dantewada police, which was led by deputy superintendent of police ( DSP) Rahul Uike and DSP Ashish Netam, recovered five bodies. Five weapons were also recovered but the grade of weapons is yet to be ascertained because the encounter is still in progress,” said Rai.

The identities of the Maoists was yet to be ascertained.

Rai said the operation was carried out at the tri-junction of Narayanpur, Bastar and Dantewada which is in the Abujhmad forest.

The Bastar region, which includes seven districts -- Bastar, Dantewada, Sukma, Bijapur, and the nearby regions of Kondagaon and Narayanpur --- are where the core of the fight against the Maoist insurgency is focussed.

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.

Also Read: Surge in Maoists giving up arms as security forces tighten grip

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 seniormost cadre, including the politburo and the central committee, of the CPI(Maoist) take refuge through the year.

With Thursday’s incident, 112 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 April 16, 29 Maoists were gunned down in an encounter with security forces in Kanker district which included two divisional committee members. On April 2, ten Maoists were killed in an encounter with security personnel in Bijapur district of Bastar region.

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