RAIPUR: Security forces on Thursday gunned down two members of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) in an encounter near the forested terrain of Gotabahi in Narayanpur district, Chhattisgarh.
A joint team of the district police force and the specially trained District Reserve Guards (DRG) foiled the ambush targeting the road opening party (ROP) at Gotabahi, about 300 km south of Raipur.
According to the police, the “intended plan” of the ultras was similar to the one executed by them in Sukma district where 12 CRPF personnel were killed after getting trapped in an ambush on March 11. Two improvised explosive devices (IEDs), recovered by the Narayanpur police, were likewise planted by the Red brigade along the route.
“The intelligence inputs we got proved to be timely and the forces, which were to proceed as ROP, changed tactics and got into operation mode. They followed separate routes and encircled the Maoists, who were waiting to ambush our jawans, from behind. In the exchange of fire, two Naxalites were killed but the others managed to flee," Narayanpur district police chief Santosh Singh told New Indian Express. There was, however, no report of any injury sustained by the security forces.
The police recovered two rifles, a detonator, wires and two IEDs, each weighing about 25 kg, planted underneath the anticipated path of the security forces. “Each recovered IED was enough to blew up a Mine Protected Vehicle (MPV)," Singh said. The rebels may have planned an ambush due to the increased movement of the security forces in the region during the last couple of months.
Following the encounter, search operations have been intensified across Narayanpur district. The Maoists killed CRPF men at Sukma where due to “no specific tip-off”, the troopers walked into the ambush. The hinterland of south Bastar is densely forested and the rebels’ stronghold. The left-wing extremists are present in at least 16 of the 27 districts of Chhattisgarh but are most active in south Bastar turning it into a virtual war zone.