12 Naxalites killed in Chhattisgarh in 3rd major encounter in 1 month; 2024 toll rises to 103

Bijapur (Chhattisgarh), May 10 (PTI) As many as 12 Naxalites were gunned down in an encounter with security personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district on Friday, police said, taking the number of left-wing extremists killed so far this year in the state to 103.

Two security personnel were also injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast triggered by Maoists during the operation, they said.

This was the third major strike on Naxalites by security forces in the last one month and comes three weeks after 29 extremists were killed in an encounter in Kanker district. Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai congratulated security forces and senior officials for the successful offensive in Bijapur.

The latest gunfight took place in a forest near Pidia village under Gangaloor police station limits when a joint team of security personnel was out on an anti-Naxal operation, a police official 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.

The operation was launched based on inputs about presence of commander of PLGA (People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army) company No. 2 of Maoists Vella, and Gagaloor area committee secretary Dinesh Modiyam along with 100 to 150 cadres in the forest, the official said.

The encounter broke out between the two side at around 6 am in the forest near Pidia, located over 450 km away from state capital Raipur, and then multiple exchange of fire took place in different places in the area, he said.

After the guns fell silent, bodies of 12 Naxalites were recovered from the spot, he said, adding their identity was yet to be ascertained.

Besides, a barrel grenade launcher (BGL), a 12 bore gun, a country made rifle, BGL shells, a huge cache of explosives, Maoist uniforms, bags, medicines and Naxal publicity materials and literature were seized from the gunfight site , he said.

A search operation in the area was still underway, the official added.

The two security personnel injured in the IED blast triggered byMaoists during the operation were shifted to a local hospital and will be airlifted to Raipur for further treatment, he informed.

They sustained splinter injuries in the explosion.

Talking to reporters here, Chief Minister Sai said, “the exchange of fire between security personnel and Naxalites has ended in the Gangaloor area. Our security forces have achieved a major success as 12 bodies of Naxalites have been recovered so far.”

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, including Narayanpur and Kanker, according to police.

On April 16, as many as 29 Naxalites were gunned down in an encounter with security forces in Kanker district. This was the highest fatalities suffered by Naxalites in a single encounter in the history of the state’s fight against Left Wing Extremism. Chhattisgarh became a separate state in November 2000.

Ten Naxalites, including three women, were killed in an encounter with security personnel in a forest along the border of Narayanpur and Kanker districts on April 30.

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