Updated: March 5, 2021 10:41:21 pm
A Maharashtra Police officer was injured in a Naxalite ambush close to the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border on Thursday. The police were on their way back after destroying an arms repair unit of the Naxalites.
Deputy Inspector General of Police (Gadchiroli range) Sandip Patil told The Indian Express, “We had planned an operation on Wednesday against the tactical counter-offensive campaign (TCOC) of the Naxalites that began on March 1. Over the last three days, four exchanges of fire happened with the Naxalites. Our men destroyed a gun repair unit of the Naxalites in Kodur forest across the border in Chhattisgarh on Wednesday after an exchange of fire with them, while one of our men was injured in the leg in a Naxal ambush on the way back on Thursday.”
Patil added, “The operation was launched under the leadership of Additional Superintendent of Police (Aheri) Somay Munde. Eight of our C60 commando parties comprising 250 men were involved. On Wednesday, they entered Kodur area and engaged a Naxal group in action near Kukameta village. Exchange of fire went on for 25 minutes, with Naxals running away. Our men found the gun unit in the area having two lathe machines and destroyed it.”
The arms unit operation was carried out by a group of three C60 parties led by Munde. The injured policeman was identified as Mohan Usendi.
Two more encounters followed around 4 and 6 pm in Kodur forest, in which a policeman was shot in the leg. On Friday, there was another encounter at 10.30 am between Naxalites and the party led by Munde. “But the Naxals fled, with police dominating in the fire,” Patil said.
“The parties have now returned to Maharashtra side and are on their way back. We will get details after they reach Kothi police outpost in Bhamragarh tahsil.”
While the ambush occurred near the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border, sources said that Maharashtra Police asked teams of Chhattisgarh Police to be on standby during the day.
Chhattisgarh Police officials later said that an Air Force chopper was to be routed through Chhattisgarh, but the plan was changed. Senior police officials said that border areas have been alerted.
Naxals carry out TCOC annually from March to May.
(With inputs from ENS Raipur)
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