CPI (Maoists) today claimed to have killed 19 security personnel in the recent encounter in Dandakaranya, admitting that they lost three of their members, too.
However, security forces said that they killed 25 Maoists and released some pictures, too, of the slain ones. The bodies of all the Maoists are yet to be found.
"We are sure that as many as 25 Maoists have been killed in the encounter," a senior CRPF official said.
Maoists have identified their three slain comrades as members of People's Liberation Guerrilla Army - Sanju. Rajesh and Sukhju. All of them were from Bijapur.
In the statement, Maoists said that they have seized the arms and ammunitions of the security forces in the operation.
" They are both from central and state forces," said the Dandakaranya committee statement.
The statement said 11 AK-47s, two Insus rifles, six SLR LMG, and dozen of other arms were seized.
" We also got 1,550 rounds of cartridges. These arms and ammunitions are part of the properties of our 'government'," said their statement.
Maoists said their Dandakaranya self-styled government took revenge for the continued attacks unleashed by the Chhattisgarh and Union governments, by "killing 19 policemen and injuring 20 more".
This is the first time the Maoists have accused the Congress government in the state of joining hands with the Modi government at the Centre to defeat them. In the 2018 assembly election, the BJP was crushed in Bastar region. It was seen as an indicator of tribals denouncing the BJP for cracking down on Maoists.
The banned outfit said they had to kill so many security personnel, mostly from state DRG, because of the joint-operation against them, led by security adviser Vijay Kumar.
"They (security forces) tortured common people, molested women and children. They put ordinary people in jail, charging them with false cases. All of these were done to give away natural resources of our area to corporate world," said the statement signed by the committee's spokesman.
Maoists have threatened of more attacks.
" Unless they withdraw the blanket security cover from Dandakaranya to Gadchiroli, the attacks will continue to save our 'government' and natural resources which the state government plans to donate to foreign corporates," said the Dandakaranya zonal committee.