Chhattisgarh: Grenade launcher factory destroyed, 4 held during anti-Maoist campaign

Illegal arms factory destroyed too under Operation Surya-Shakti near Maharashtra bord

guns Weapons recovered in the operations

A five-day joint anti-Maoist campaign by security forces in villages bordering Kanker and Narayanpur districts of Chhattisgarh and Gadchiroli of Maharashtra resulted in the arrest of four alleged Maoists. While a barrel grenade launcher (BGL) and an illegal arms factory were destroyed, several arms and other materials were confiscated during the operation.

'Operation Surya-Shakti' was conducted between January 12 and 16 in villages including Urchapal, Paraidhi, Pangur, Tekameta, Musparse, Kukur and others, a Bastar police statement said. During the joint operation by the Special Task Force (STF), Kanker and Narayanpur district reserve guards (DRG) and Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, several encounters with Maoists took place and huge amounts of material dumped by the extremists were recovered.

A BGL factory was destroyed during the operation in the dense forests of the area and drilling and punching machines were confiscated. “Given the amount of arms and ammunition recovered, it seems that the Maoists had hidden these things with the aim to cause damage to security forces, citizens and public property,” Bastar police said.

Among the confiscated arms and ammunition were – bipod grenade launcher, four BGL shells, two air rifles, two muzzle-loading weapons, one 12-bore gun, three INSAS magazines, one Bushnell telescope, two generators, nine bench clamping, drilling and punching machines, tailoring shops and uniforms and a large amount of food ration.

Several camps of the Maoists were also destroyed along with an illegal arms factory where a huge cache of illegal arms were confiscated.

Two encounters were reported as part of the operation on January 14 and 16. Following the encounter on January 16 in the hilly area between villages Takilkot and Binagunda under Chhotebethia police station of Kanker district, four alleged Maoists were held. 

They include Aaytu Nureti (26), Suresh Nuruti (25) and Budhuram Padda (25) of village Binagunda and Manoj Hichami (22) of village Konge.

Maoist killed in encounter in Bastar district

Meanwhile, in a separate encounter in Mangnar forests of Bastar district, a Maoist carrying Rs 5 lakh rewards was killed by security forces. The slain Moist was identified as Ratan Kashyap alias Salaam, 31, who was the Todma militia platoon deputy commander and Aamdai Area Committee Member (ACM) of the Communist Party of India (Maoists). 

The encounter took place under the Barsur police station area and involved personnel of DRG, Bastar Fighters Dantewada and the 195th battalion young platoon of CRPF.

65 alleged Maoists arrested

Inspector General of Police (IG), Bastar, Sundarraj P., has said that during the past few days, an intense anti-Naxal campaign was conducted. This resulted in the destruction of several Maoist camps, the recovery of the bodies of two alleged Maoists, arms and ammunition and arrests of 65 Maoist cadres. 

The North sub-zonal bureau of the CPI (Maoists) has issued a statement strongly condemning the recent ‘attacks and violence on innocent villagers by the police forces’ in Kanker and Narayanpur districts. In the statement by Mangli, spokesperson of the sub-zonal bureau, the Maoists have also said that the four arrested following ‘attack’ at Binagunda village were common villagers and have urged local people to intensify their struggle against the system and have demanded the withdrawal of the police forces and removal of security camps in the region.

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