In a major operation after the change of guard in Chhattisgarh, security personnel gunned down 10 Naxalites in restive Bijapur district Thursday morning.
The action added significance as the new Congress government that came to power about 50 days ago had talked about non-violence mode to find solution to Left Wing Extremism (LWE). Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel had said the government would find a peaceful solution to the problem.
Based on a tip off, security forces raided Bogra village located in densely forested pocket of Bhairamgarh block late Wednesday night. Senior Naxal leaders Rajman Mandavi and Sukhlal along with 50-60 cadres were reportedly present in the camp set up for training militia cadres.
The operation in which around 200 jawans were involved was carried out by a joint team of Special Task Force (STF) and the District Reserve Guard (DRG). “During the process, a fierce battle took place between the Naxalites and security personnel today morning at around 11 am,” Director General of Police Durgesh Madhav Awasthi said.
The gunbattle lasted for about two and a half hour before the rebels retreated and slipped into the forests. During search operation, security personnel recovered 10 bodies of Naxalites in uniform along with 11 muzzle loading guns and a 315 bore revolver fire arms, he added.
“The identification of rebels was in progress,” Awasthi said, adding that reinforcement had been sent to the spot to evacuate the force. The possibility of rebels ambush was high as the forces were returning with the bodies of rebels, he added.
The model of weapons however indicated that the killed rebels probably belonged to low cadre.
The state police chief however skipped the question when asked whether today’s operation would have any impact of state government’s peace process with the Naxalites.