HYDERABAD: IN the aftermath of the Maoist ambush of the Central Reserve Police Force’s (CRPF) 219th battalion on Saturday, it has been found that naxals used country-made mortar and “Rambo-style” explosive-headed-arrows in the attack.
Telangana police learnt that Maoists operating on the borders of Chattisgarh and Telangana are now trained in utilising arrows with heads made of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), inspired by the 1982 Sylvester Stallone-starrer First Blood.
“It is the first time that we have noticed extremist groups using such weapons in attacking police teams. In Sukma district, the Maoist fighters triggered landmines. At the same time, they used country-made mortar and the Rambo-style-arrow-IEDs that created high impact in claiming 12 lives,” said sources.
The IED arrows were designed using thermite, chlorine trifluoride, and white phosphorus for creating high intensity blasts when set off. At least nine such Rambo-style-country-made-arrows with IED heads were seized at the site of the attack in Sukma on Saturday.
Police teams used arrows mounted with tracking devices to follow movement of Maoists in the Bhejji forests between Panasput and Ramgarh hills of Malkangiri district in Andhra Odisha Border (AoB) area ahead of a major encounter in October 2016 in which 31 persons, including nine adivasis, were killed. Police suspect the Sukma attack is retaliation for the encounter.
In Telangana, though Maoist activities are under largely in check, sources said that the Telangana State Committee (TSC) of Maoists operates in Adilabad, Khammam and the region of the Karimnagar-Khammam-Warangal (KKW). The KKW divisional committee has a Special Guerrilla Squad with a cadre strength of 92.
After the Sukma attack, Telangana police has directed personnel posted on the state border to be vigilant while moving in dense forests.