Naxals (Maoists) in Bijapur released a statement on 22 April claiming they have shot down two drones allegedly belonging to security forces. The Maoists’ Dandkaranya Special Zonal Committee released pictures of a quadcopter and an audio message, challenging the police.
In the video message, Naxals were heard saying that the Bastar IG could send his men to verify their claim at the bombing site.
Naxals had on 21 April claimed that the central and state security forces in a joint operation had dropped bombs near two villages in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, an assertion described as baseless by the police.
Dandkaranya special zonal committee in a statement claimed the “airstrike” took place on 19 April. The Maoists further alleged the drone attack targeted them and shared some images of the purported attack in support of their claim, a news agency reported.
While Naxals said they shot down two drones, police dismissed the allegation as baseless.
Inspector-General of Police Bastar Range Sundarraj P said, “The allegation levelled by Maoists regarding air strike/drone attack are totally baseless and it’s an outcome of fear and confusion in the rank of Maoist cadres.”
“Security forces in Bastar operate within the legal framework with a single objective of protecting life and property of the native population of the region,” police said.
“It is the CPI Naxals cadres who have taken away lives of thousands of innocent civilians by using IED’s and explosive materials. They haven’t even spared children, women and animals during their desperate attempts to harm the security forces by using IEDs,” police said in a statement.
“Even today in Narayanpur, one ITBP officer is seriously injured and one cow was killed in an IED explosion trigerred by the Naxals,” police said.
“The Naxals doesn’t have any moral authority to blame the security forces to level such baseless allegation against the security forces. It is high time that they stop unleashing cruelty against innocent tribals of Bastar and let the native population lead a peaceful life,” police said.
Tensions in the region have been since five jawans were killed and 20 injured in a fierce encounter between security forces and Naxals in the Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh earlier in April.