Anti-Naxal ops: CRPF to intensify action in Chhattisgarh strongholds
A recent operation in the Bijapur district led to the unearthing of a weapons and explosives manufacturing base of Maoists.
The CRPF will be stepping up its operations against Naxals in their "stronghold" of Bastar in the southern part of Chhattisgarh, officials said on Thursday.
The paramilitary force, deployed as the primary combat unit against Maoists in the state, has launched a special operation called 'Lakshya' (target) to hit the ultras in remote and thick jungles of Bijapur and Sukma districts.
CRPF Director General (DG) A P Maheshwari also reviewed the operation after he visited the state on Wednesday in the aftermath of two commandos of its elite jungle warfare unit CoBRA being killed in such an operation early this week.
Maheshwari has sought intensification of the operations in coordination with state authorities, a senior official said.
He said the force chief urged the CoBRA and other Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) units present in the state to make "in-roads into Naxal strongholds and ensure that the ultras are eliminated without any collateral damage to civilians".
The force, along with the state police, is also planning to take on the dreaded and armed first People's Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) battalion of Maoists that operates in the interiors of south Bastar area with a number of states bordering it.
The recent operation in Bijapur district led to the unearthing of a weapons and explosives manufacturing base of Maoists in Irrapalli and intelligence inputs suggest about four Maoists of the first battalion were killed while another 10 injured.
Two commandos of the 204th battalion of the CoBRA were killed while six others, including a deputy commandant-rank officer, were injured in this gunbattle. A Naxal body was also recovered after the encounter.
The force chief met field commanders in Bastar and spent a night at a CRPF camp on Wednesday. He also praised the troops for their operational achievements and interacted with them.
It was also directed by Maheshwari that development initiatives like road construction and creation of civic amenities should go hand-in-hand with operations, the official said.
The DG also met the injured personnel at a hospital in state capital Raipur and promised them all assistance in their recovery and well-being, he said.