HYDERABAD: The outlawed Maoists are a step ahead of security forces in protecting themselves. In a recent encounter that took place in Chhattisgarh dubbed as Operation Prahara, the Maoists wore bullet-proof helmets to avoid being injured from headshots. This helped them in minimising the casualties. In the 30- hour shoot-out that took place in Tondamarka, Durma and Badekadeval in Sukuma district of Chhattisgarh, only eight Maoists died.
If the Maoists had not worn bullet-proof helmets, the casualties would have been higher, the police said. According to them, as many as 25 Maoists managed to escape into the forests during the encounter. “The security forces seized a few helmets at the scene of encounter. Now, the intelligence officials are trying to figure out how they had come by the helmets,” the police said.
That the Maoists are ahead of the police in combat tactics is not new. In 1980, a senior leader of Pratigatana Chalamanna had fled after abandoning an AK 47 during police firing in Warangal.
According to sources, there are at least 50,000 CRPF personnel involved in fighting Maoists, but the government has only sanctioned a meagre amount to them to purchase only 1,000 bullet-proof helmets. A senior officer felt that these bullet-proof helmets may have been stolen from the CRPF jawans who were killed in encounters.