IN A major jolt to Maoists movement in Chhattisgarh, a joint team of security personnel gunned down seven ultras including three female cadres, in insurgency-hit Rajnandgaon district on Saturday, the last day of ongoing Naxal’s ‘Martyrs Week’. “Based on precise intelligence input about presence of ultras, a joint team of District Reserve Guard (DRG), Special Task Force (STF) and District Force (DF) launched an operation close to Chhattisgarh-Maharashtra border under Baghnadi police station resulting in elimination of seven insurgents, including three women Naxals, in an encounter.
While undertaking search at the spot of encounter, which lasted for over one-and-half hours, troopers recovered bodies of seven slain rebels along with recovery of one AK-47, Carbine, three 303 rifle and other weapons,” said Director General of Police (DGP) D M Awasthi while talking to media in Raipur. The DGP further added that prima-facie information indicates that around 50-60 cadres were present during the encounter.
The operation is still underway and a consecutive operation will also be launched on Saturday. In wake of the encounter, security forces have launched an extensive search operation in the area and additional forces have also been dispatched to cordoned-off the entire area. Be it martyrs week or any weather condition, security forces will continue to carry out extensive operations in MMC (Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh) zone in days to come, stated DGP Awasthi. On being asked about identity of slain Naxal cadres, DGP Awasthi replied “identity of Naxals gunned down in the encounter is yet to be ascertained and more clarity will be achieved once troops will return to their respective folds.
Based on recoveries of weapons, we can only anticipate that senior cadres might have been killed in the operation.” Three security personnel have suffered injuries in the encounter and their condition is reported to be out of danger, said DGP Awasthi, adding that the injured troopers have been immediately shifted to district headquarters for requisite medical assistance. This is a courageous act of security personnel that despite extreme weather condition, where movement is virtually not possible, troopers successfully carried out operations, said DGP Awasthi.