Naxalites changed out of uniform, mixed among villagers during encounter in Bijapur: Police

06:41 PM May 11, 2024 | PTI |

Bijapur: Some Naxalites changed into civilian clothes to pose as villagers and mislead the police after the first exchange of fire with the security personnel during Friday’s encounter in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, an official said.


According to the police, 12 Naxalites were gunned down by security personnel in a 12-hour operation in the forest near Pidia village under the Gangloor police station limits on Friday. Their bodies were brought to Bijapur district headquarters on Saturday morning.

”The identity of the deceased has been ascertained. They were carrying a cumulative reward of Rs 31 lakh on their heads,” Bijapur Superintendent of Police Jitendra Kumar Yadav told reporters.

Budhu Oyam and Kallu Punem, both members of military company no. 2, were carrying a reward of Rs 8 lakh each on their head, while Gangaloor area committee member of Maoists Lakhe Kunjam and member of military platoon no. 12 Bhima Karam were carrying a reward of Rs 5 lakh each on their heads, he said.

The other deceased, militia platoon commander Sannu Lakom and vice head of Janata Sarkar (people’s government) Avlam, were carrying a bounty of Rs 2 lakh each, the SP said, adding that six others were lower-run members of the outlawed outfit.


Some Maoists also tried to surround the security forces by laying ambushes at three places, but the attempts were foiled, he said.

”A peculiar thing we noticed for the first time during this operation was that after the first exchange of fire, some Naxalites changed into civil clothes and mixed with villagers to mislead the police,” he said.

Hence, the police have taken several people into custody from the area, and their identities are being ascertained, the official said.

The operation was launched based on the inputs about the presence of special zonal committee members Chaitu, Lengu and Papa Rao, commander of PLGA company no. 2 of Maoists Vella and Gagaloor area committee secretary Dinesh Modiyam and 100-150 cadres, in the forest, he said.

Personnel belonging to the District Reserve Guard (DRG) from Bijapur, Dantewada and Sukma districts, Bastar Fighters, Special Task Force (STF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and its elite unit CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) were involved in the operation, he said.

Yadav said the encounter broke out at 6 am on Friday, and the face-off took place about nine to 10 times at regular intervals till 6 pm.

Apart from the bodies, a cache of arms, ammunition and explosives were recovered from the encounter site, he said.

”Three Naxalites who sustained injuries in the gunfight were also apprehended from the spot. A civilian was also injured in the crossfire,” the SP said.

The injured were administered preliminary treatment and admitted to the district hospital, and their condition was stated to be out of danger, he said.

Several Maoists were either injured or killed during the operation, but their colleagues managed to drag them into the forest, the official said.

Security personnel have also busted a transit camp set up by Maoists in Pidia forest, he said.

Two security personnel sustained minor injuries in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast triggered by Maoists during the operation, the police had earlier said.

With this incident, 103 Naxalites have been killed so far this year in separate encounters with security forces in the state’s Bastar region, comprising seven districts, according to police.

On April 16, 29 Naxalites were killed by security forces in Kanker district, while 10 Naxalites, including three women, were gunned down in a forest along the border of Narayanpur and Kanker districts on April 30.


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