Two Maoists were killed in an encounter with Gadchiroli police in Bhamragad tahsil of the district Saturday morning. With today’s casualties, the number of Maoists killed in Gadchiroli this year so far has reached nine.
Gadchiroli Superintendent of Police Shailesh Balkawde said, “A camp of about 80-100 Maoists was set up near Kawande village in Bhamragad tahsil. Our team of C60 commandos had launched on operation on Friday night. An exchange of fire occurred as our party reached the spot. The Maoists apparently fled the spot. Later on Saturday morning, when our party headed to check the spot they were confronted by the group at another spot. They carried out an IED blast but the police managed to cover themselves up well. A heavy exchange of fire followed, in which two Maoists were killed.”
The police have recovered three firearms, a pressure cooker used to carry out the blast and three quintals of rice, from both Friday’s and Saturdays spots.
Asked about how the Maoists could regroup after one encounter and carry out another attack after a gap of few hours, Inspector General of Police (Anti-Naxal Operations) Ravindra Kadam said, “The Maoists are supposed to regroup at a pre-decided spot called emergency rendezvous after one hour. If that doesn’t become possible, they are supposed to regroup at another pre-decided spot called alternate emergency rendezvous within 24 hours. If that too doesn’t happen, they are supposed to come together at a village called general rendezvous after a month.”
He added: “It’s possible that this particular group may have regrouped somewhere close to Friday’s spot. They might have found the police going to Friday’s spot and seized the opportunity.”
Balkawde said, “One of the deceased persons is suspected to be a platoon party commander. We are confirming his identity.”
The SP further said, “The Maoist formation involved in the encounter was a combination of Chhattisgarh-based group called National Indravati Border (NIB), Bhamragad dalam and company 10 of CPI(Maoist). Most of them belonged to.”
In an IED blast earlier this year, 15 policemen were killed in Korchi tahsil.
Earlier on Wednesday night, Maoists shot dead a 17-year old boy, Manoj Hidko, at Bhimankhoji village in Kurkheda tahsil under suspicion that he was a police informer. There are no instances to recall in the past many years of Maoists killing a juvenile.
“It only underscores the cruelty of Maoists. Facing several setbacks, they have been driven to desperation and the murder of a young boy is indicative of that desperation,” Kadam said.
Meanwhile, the police are preparing to thwart any disruptive bid by Maoists during the forthcoming People’s Liberation of Guerrilla Army (PLGA) week between December 2 and 8.