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Five women among nine Maoists killed in Chhattisgarh gunbattle

Security forces also claimed to have recovered 11 weapons,including 2 INSAS and 4 SLRs

Written by Ashutosh Bhardwaj | Raipur/new Delhi |
April 17, 2013 2:53:09 am

In one of the biggest operations in Dandakaranya region in recent years,security forces claimed to have killed nine Maoists,including five women,in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on Tuesday morning.

“The incident took place at Puvarti under Jagargunda police station area at around 8 am,when a joint team of Andhra Greyhounds,217 Battalion of CRPF and Chhattisgarh police had an encounter with the Maoists,” said Bastar IG Himanshu Gupta.

Among those killed was North Telangana special zonal committee member Marri Ravi alias Sudhakar,who carried a reward of Rs 20 lakh. “Nine bodies have been recovered,out of which seven have been identified. Besides Sudhakar,his gunmen Ajay was also killed,” said the IG.

The other Maoists who have been identifed are divisional committee member Pushpaka (Karimnagar),Sabitha (Warangal),Arelli Venkat alias Kiran (Karimnagar),Maddi Seetha alias Navatha (Mangapait),Jagan Raju alias Durgam Raju (Warangal). All of them operated in Andhra Pradesh.

Security forces also claimed to have recovered 11 weapons,including 2 INSAS and 4 SLRs.

Sources said the entire operation was led by the anti-Naxal force Greyhounds,based on intelligence input that senior Maoist leader Ramanna and other cadres were in Sukma’s Puwarti area,over 600 km south of capital Raipur,for a “tactical counter offensive campaign” meeting.

Ramanna is believed to be behind the 2010 Dantewada attack that left 76 CRPF personnel dead. It was his “military company” that came under attack today. “This is one of the most important wings of the Maoists as they are well-armed and trained in jungle warfare. Their prime job is to provide security to the top ten leaders,” said an official.

Officials alleged that the Maoists used children from the nearby villages as “human shields”. “They sat on tractors and surrounded themselves with children before fleeing the site,” said an official.

Sources said there was an increasing trend among the Maoists to recruit more women. Senior Home ministry officials said women constituted at least 40-50 per cent of the new cadres inducted by the Maoists recently.

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