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July 23, 2024 11:34 pm

6 of 8 Naxalites killed in encounter in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur carried Rs 48 lakh bounty

Narayanpur, June 17

Six of the eight Naxalites killed in an encounter with security personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district two days back were senior rank cadres and carried cumulative cash rewards of Rs 48 lakh, police said.

These cadres belonged to the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) military company no. 1 of Naxalites and Maad division supply team formations, they said.

This is the second major success of the ‘Maad Bachao Abhiyan’ (anti-Naxalite operation) of Narayanpur police within a week and the fourth major success in 45 days, Inspector General of Police, Bastar range, Sundarraj P said in a press conference here on Sunday.

“Abhujmaad (in Narayanpur district) had been suffering from Naxal violence and fear for 40 years but now the natives, tribals and villagers are imagining it free from violence, fear and Naxalism. Successful anti-Naxal campaigns have been speeding up development,” he said.

Police on Saturday claimed to have gunned down eight Naxalites during an encounter in forests near Kutul-Farasbeda and Kodtameta villages in the district.

“Six of the eight killed cadres were identified as Sudru, Vargesh, Mamta, Samira, Kosi and Moti, who were active in different capacities in PLGA company no.1 of Maoists and carrying a reward of Rs 8 lakh each on their heads,” the IG said.

The identity of the two other Naxalites was yet to be ascertained, he said.

An operation under the ‘Maad Bachao Abhiyan’ was launched by the security forces late on June 12 after inputs about the presence of Naxalites in Kutul, Farasbeda, Kodtameta and Adingpar villages of the district, the official said.

Personnel from the state police’s District Reserve Guard and Special Task Force (STF), along with the 53rd battalion of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and 135th battalion of the Border Security Force took part in the operation, he said, adding that women commandos also delivered a key role.

Around 7 am on Saturday, armed Naxalites opened fire on security personnel in a forest near Kutul-Farasbeda and Kodtameta villages leading to the gun-battle. After the encounter ended, bodies of eight Naxalites, including four women, clad in ‘uniform’ were recovered from different places, the IG said.

Several other Naxalites escaped taking cover of the dense forest and hills, he said Security personnel recovered one INSAS rifle, two 303 rifles, three 315 bore rifles, a barrel grenade launcher and large quantities of explosives, medicines and other daily-use items.

Blood stains spotted at the site indicate several other Naxalites might have been injured or killed in the gunfight, the official said.

STF constable Nitesh Ekka (27) was also killed in the encounter, while two of his colleagues, Lekhram Netam (28) and Kailash Netam (33), were injured. They have been admitted to a hospital in the state capital Raipur.

Earlier on Sunday, Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai, his deputy Vijay Sharma and many others paid tribute to the martyred jawan in Raipur.

Later, his mortal remains were taken to his home district Jashpur in a helicopter where his last rites were performed in the evening, police said.

Due to better coordination between the local police and central paramilitary force and better strategy, bodies of 131 Naxalites have been recovered so far this year after encounters across the Bastar division, comprising Kanker, Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Bastar, Bijapur, Dantewada and Sukma districts, the official said.

On June 5, six Naxalites were gunned down in an encounter in Narayanpur, while seven were killed on the Narayanpur-Bijapur border on May 23.

At least 12 Naxalites were eliminated in an encounter in Bijapur on May 10, and 10 cadres, including three women, were neutralised along the border of Narayanpur and Kanker districts on April 30.

Earlier, 29 Naxalites were gunned down in a face-off with security forces in Kanker district on April 16, as per the police.

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