Raipur: In the first major operation after Congress government came to power in Chhattisgarh, security forces have gunned down at least 10 Maoists.
Several Maoists have also been injured in a fierce gun-battle in the forests of Bijapur district in tribal Bastar region of the state.
Top police officials confirmed in state capital, Raipur, that a joint team of District Reserve Guards (DRG) and Special Task Force were on a search and combing operation in the forest region of Takilod, North of Indravati River in Maad area, when the rebels tried to ambush the security personnel.
The forces retaliated, leading to a fierce encounter between the security forces and rebels lasting almost an hour.
Police confirmed that bodies of ten Maoist rebels were recovered from the spot of encounter.
Security forces suspect that more Maoist cadres might have been injured or killed.
Usually, it is the practice of the Maoists to drag away bodies of their dead comrades.
Reinforcements have been rushed to the area to step up combing operations in the region to flush out the rebels.
Police said details about the causalities would be known only after the area is sanitized and the forces returned to their base.
Maoists encounter after a lull
Maoists in the region were lying low after the assembly elections in November.
However, the rebels last week felled trees and obstructed road traffic to observe a revolutionary week.
In the last week of January, police had seized some pamphlets purportedly written by a section of Maoists in the forest areas of Bijapur district. It urged the government to reopen schools and improve medical facilities.
However, the police maintained that it was still verifying whether any Maoist group had circulated these pamphlets or it was the handiwork of some groups to portray that Maoists groups were expressing faith in the system after the government changed.
New govt's promises
The Congress government, headed by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, has been maintaining right from day one that it would soon initiate a dialogue with the local people of Maoist-affected Bastar to understand what they really want and how to solve the vexed Maoist issue.
Besides, the government had also hinted that it would initiate a series of confidence building measures to take the affected population into confidence, without pursuing the policy of “ bullet for bullet”.
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