Maoists on Tuesday killed 16 people, including 11 CRPF, four Chhattisgarh police jawans and one civilian, in an ambush near Jiram Ghati in the State where they had in 2013 killed State Congress leaders.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde denied intelligence failure as the reason behind the ambush. Shinde said it was the second such attack in the same region and the forces will retaliate strongly.
Central intelligence agencies had issued an alert cautioning all Naxal-affected states and security forces of possible Maoist attacks in order to subvert the election process. An intelligence report accessed by Express clearly stated that the outfit had directed its cadre to make all logistic arrangements, including collecting explosives, for the attacks during polls. The intelligence input suggested that the outfit has particularly identified leaders and vehicles engaged in electioneering for targeting, besides ambushing police and security forces.
The report said the outfit also plans to launch an election boycott campaign. The ultras have formed a ‘Vote Bahishkar Committee’ to raise issues like displacement, unemployment, arrest of Maoists and Operation Green Hunt during the campaign, the report said.