Raipur: A trooper was injured in an exchange of fire with Naxalites in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Dantewada district on Wednesday while the police claimed to have gunned down four ultras in the face-off, an officer said.
However, not a single body has been recovered so far. Police recovered a 12-bore gun, a 10-kg bomb, three Maoist uniforms, three walkie talkie sets, Maoist literature and other materials from the spot, the officer said. The shoot-out took place in a forest near Pichhikoder village under Barsoor police station limits when a joint team of security forces was out on an anti-Maoist operation, Dantewada Superintendent of Police Kamlochan Kashyap said.
He said joint teams of the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force), District Reserve Guard (DRG) and Special Task Force (STF) from Dantewada and Bastar districts had launched the operation in the forests on the bordering area of the two districts last evening based on specific inputs about movement of the Maoists.
At around 10.30 am, when one of the patrolling teams advanced through the Pichhikoder forests, around 450 kms from the state capital Raipur, a group of ultras started firing at them, he said, adding that a fierce gun-battle followed, following which the ultras fled. “Constable Jhumar Mandavi, belonging to DRG, sustained a bullet injury in the incident,” the SP said.
Reinforcement was sent to the spot, he said, adding that the injured jawan was shifted to a local hospital from where he was airlifted to Raipur for further treatment. “As per the feedback from jawans and the blood stains found at the spot, at least four naxals were gunned down in the exchange of fire,” the SP said, adding that a search operation is still underway in the region.
In a separate incident, Maoists yesterday detonated a powerful improvised explosive device (IED) blast in the dense forest of insurgency-hit Bijapur district when a patrolling team was approaching the spot, police said. However, no security personnel were injured in the incident.
One naxal was arrested from the spot while trying to escape after triggering the explosion, a senior officer said. “The incident took place yesterday near Timenar forests under Mirtoor police station area when a joint team of security forces was carrying out anti-naxal operations in the region,” Bijapur Additional Superintendent of Police Mohit Garg said on Wednesday.
He said a posse comprising the personnel of the CRPF, DRG and District Force was conducting the operation from the past couple of days in the forests of Mitrtoor, located around 450 kms away from the state capital Raipur. When one of the patrolling teams being led by Garg was passing through a dirt track near Timenar village, naxals detonated the landmine blast and opened fire.
The ultras fled the spot soon after security personnel retaliated. However, one of them identified as Sukalu Kunjam (35) was rounded up after a chase, the ASP added. “The explosion occurred ahead of the (arrival of) the patrolling team and no injuries or causalities were reported in the incident,” he said.
While conducting a search of the area, a 5-kg tiffin bomb, two bags, a radio set, a Maoist banner and literature were recovered from the spot, the officer said. On May 22, a team of security forces recovered a 315-bore country-made revolver, eight live cartridges, two cooker bombs, a mechanism of pressure bomb, wire and other materials after a brief exchange of fire with ultras in Kondapal forest.