Maoists are “frustrated” because security camps have been set up in remote areas of Chhattisgarh and this process will be speeded up now to launch more serious operations against them, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Director General Kuldiep Singh said today after at least 22 security personnel were killed in an encounter.
The CRPF chief, who arrived in the Chhattisgarh capital Raipur after the ambush by Maoists in Bijapur on Saturday that also left more than 30 personnel injured, said that “lessons are learnt” from every incident and they will see and analyse “what changes have been brought by the Maoists” to effectively counter them.
Mr Singh said the Maoists are frustrated and troubled because of the induction of five new battalions in the Bastar region of the state recently and the creation of new bases in remote areas like Basaguda, Silger, Jagargunda and Minpa.
“They (Maoists) think that if they mount heavy casualties on us they can deter us and we may not establish new camps. But this does not happen… there have been many casualties in the past too… and as per government policy the force keeps moving forward,” he said.
The DG said that the new camps “will be established and now this process will be made fast so that we can launch more serious operations against the Maoists.”
“We keep changing our strategy and it is an evolving process,” he said.
A contingent of 1,500 personnel drawn from six security camps launched the cordon and search operation against Maoists along Bijapur-Sukma border around the crack of dawn on Saturday. The ambush took place around noon that day.
“The Maoists fired from some country-made under-barrel grenade launchers (UBGLs) at a party that was returning from Jogagundam after an operation.”
“These grenade rounds came all of a sudden and the troops were initially taken aback. However, they soon controlled the situation, broke the ambush and fired grenades in retaliation,” Mr Singh said after meeting the injured personnel admitted at a hospital in Raipur.
He said about four-five personnel were injured during this first assault on the security force party.
“Members of the ‘jan militia’ present in the area again tried to set up an ambush and surprise these troops who were evacuating the injured… and soon after there was a burst fire from a Light Machine Gun (LMG) that was mounted some distance away. However, the party finally reached their base and found that 21 personnel were missing. It was then that a search was launched,” the CRPF DG said.
The DG said his force, the lead combat unit for anti-Maoist operations in the country, will see and analyse “what changes have been brought by the Naxals and how can we counter them so that we again can come heavy on them.”
He said the Maoists have looted the weapons of “less than 21 jawans”.
Some weapons of the killed personnel were brought back by those who survived the attack, he said.
The CRPF chief met his troops including the field commander of the operation, second-in-command rank officer Sandeep Dwivedi of the 210 CoBRA Battalion and deputy commandant Manish Kumar.