Maoists

Raipur: Security forces recovered a huge cache of explosive materials following a gun-fight with the Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, police said on Saturday.

The encounter took place yesterday when a joint team of the police’s Special Task Force, District Reserve Guard and CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) of the CRPF was out on an anti-Maoist operation, said Sukma Superintendent of Police Abhishek Meena.

While the team was cordoning off Tumirpad forests, Maoists opened fire on them, Meena said. The area is around 500 km away from Raipur. After a prolonged gun-battle, the Maoists fled, the SP said. Four steel tiffin boxes, 12 gelatin rods, urea, 20 detonators, cordex wires, batteries and gunpowder were found from the spot, he said.

All this material is used to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by the Maoists.

A team of ‘military battalion no 1’ of the Maoists led by company commander Nagesh, which operates mostly in south Sukma, was involved in the encounter, Meena said.

Earlier, on 13 March, nine CRPF personnel had been killed after suspected Maoists blew up their mine-protected vehicle in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma, around a year after a dozen jawans were killed in a similar ambush in the district.

Officials said the incident took place around 12:30 PM along the Kistaram-Palodi road of the district when the troops of the 212th battalion of the CRPF were out on an operation.

Soon after the incident, reinforcements were rushed to the spot, around 500 km from State Capital Raipur, he said, adding further details were awaited.

Officials added that the first encounter between the two sides took place at 8 AM and later this contingent was targeted by the Maoists.

Twelve personnel of the force were killed on 11 March last year in the Bheji area of the district and their arms looted when Maoists ambushed their patrol party.

A few days later on 24 April, 25 personnel of the paramilitary forces were killed in a similar ambush in Sukma.