Bhopal: At least ten Maoists were on Thursday gunned down in an encounter with security forces in Chhattisgarh’s south Bastar district of Bijapur.
This was the biggest counterinsurgency operation undertaken in Naxal-infested Bastar after the new Congress government in Chhattisgarh took charge on December 17, 2018.
The encounter took place at around 11.30 in the morning when a joint search party comprising district reserve group (DRG) and special task force (STF) was attacked by armed Maoists at Barega under Bhairam-garh police station, a senior police officer posted in Bastar told this newspaper.
The encounter lasted nearly one and half hours.
“Bodies of 10 Naxals have been recovered so far. Besides, 11 weapons and a large number of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were also seized from the encounter site”, Chhattisgarh director general of police (DGP) D.M. Awasthi said.
According to him, acting on a tip off on movement of ultras in forests of Takilod on the river bank of Indravati, the joint combat team was dispatched to the area, considered a Maoist-stronghold, on Wednesday evening to launch search operation.
The search party of security personnel came under attack by Naxals in the morning when they were passing by Barega hills.
An encounter ensued leading to death of ten ultras.
According to Mr Awasthi, at least 336 Maoists were killed and 3141 ultras arrested in counterinsurgency operations in Bastar in 2016-18.
As many as 151 security personnel were martyred in the anti-Naxal
operations during the period.
While 818 Naxal weapons were seized, 59 arms of security forces were looted by Maoists following encounters between them in last three years....