HYDERABAD: The recent ‘encounters’ between the Security Forces (SF) and CPM turned a major blow for the militants with a majority of those getting killed being women.
In Friday’s encounter, of the 10 Maoists killed, six were women. In an earlier encounter in Gadchiroli in December, five women Maoists were killed, besides two men.
According to police officials familiar with anti-Maoist operations, women were more vulnerable to fatalities during encounters owing to various factors, including health, terrain and training.
“Encounters generally take place in uneven terrain in forest areas. While men often slip into the forest and escape, women hardly get the opportunity. So, in any encounter when there are men and women, the latter get killed,” he said.
Most often, the security forces had an upper hand during a planned ambush or combing operations. “In thick forest, generally, we do not get to see who is firing at the security forces and it is just retaliation to save ourselves from gunfire,” the official added.
Women had been an active part of the war machinery of the CPI for several years now.
The Maoist recruit women from tribal belts or villages affected by the Naxal violence. Roughly, about 35 per cent of the Maoists cadre was women.
A senior IPS official, who worked as Superintendent of Police in a Maoist-affected district, said not many women were from the Telangana.
A senior intelligence official pointed out that women joined as fighters and participated in raids and attacks on the police.
Maoists attacked while ‘taking Rest’
The police firing at Tadamalagutta took place without any provocation from the Maoist side, party leaders claimed.
The cops started firing while the members were taking rest in their camp, a statement said. CPI (Maoist) TS secretary Haribhushan aka Jaga said in the statement that the encounter occurred on the information given by a ‘betrayer’.
No top leaders such as Haribhushan, Bade Chokka Rao and Kankanala Raji Reddy were among the deceased as claimed by cops.
“Dadaboina Swamy aka Prabhakar and Ratna were among the deceased. All the remaining comrades belonged to Sukma and Dantewada districts in Chattisgarh,” he said. The government was trying to hand over water and land to corporate forces and it resorted to the fake encounter to fulfil KCR’s task.