RAIPUR: Ten days after major anti-Maoist strike ‘Operation Prahar’ was carried out at Tondamarka in the restive Sukma district, the Chhattisgarh police on Wednesday claimed to have identified seven rebels killed in the gunfight. The police had earlier claimed to have killed 15-20 Maoists in the operation, said to be the biggest so far against Naxals, on June 24.
Sukma SP Abhishek Meena, citing inputs received from locals, said the police had ascertained the identification of the seven killed in the encounter. “The deceased Maoists were identified as Udka Lakhu, Sodhi Budhra, Podium Suresh, Muchaki Jogi, Madvi Hidma, Vetti Joga and Sodhi Lakhe,” the SP said.
The police had then also claimed that top Maoist commander Hidma had sustained bullet injuries. On Sunday, the Bastar-based South Sub-Divisional Bureau of CPI (Maoist) secretary Ganesh Uike issued a statement claiming that their organisation had lost one cadre in an encounter with forces and others that the police claimed were just villagers.
In the joint operation against the Maoists at Tondamarka, around 1,500 security personnel of the STF, Cobra, DRG and CRPF participated. Three jawans were killed and five others were injured in the gunbattle.
Tondamarka is believed to be a strong Maoist hotspot and a safe zone for the Left-wing extremists, where the forces had entered for the first time. Sukma is among the seven worst Maoist-affected districts in south Chhattisgarh’s conflict zone of Bastar.