The deadly Maoist ambush, claiming lives of 14 CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, was planned and supervised by local Naxal leaders who were reportedly camping in south Bastar for past few days, a senior police official said today.
“We received several inputs that dreaded Maoist leaders of Dandakaranya region were holding meeting in forests of south Bastar-Sukma, Bijpaur and Narayanpur, worried over large number of surrenders and arrest of their cadres during the past few months,” a senior police official involved in anti-Naxal operations told PTI on condition of anonymity.
“We suspect that the attack was planned and carried out by the same group of leaders by taking the support of local lower rung supporters,” he said.
The official, however, did not rule out involvement of Maoist’s Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee secretary Ramanna, the top Maoist leader of the region.
Preliminary information indicates that nearly 150 armed guerrilla military cadres were positioned on three sides in the forests of Kasalpada and Elmaguda and were assisted by a supporting group of around 100 militia and sangham supporters of local villages, he said.
The Maoists certainly got a tip-off about the route of security forces during their return to camp on December 1 after a three-day-long search and area domination operation and may have set up the ambush in just a short span of time, he said.
Prima facie it appears that LMG (light machine guns) used by the cadres caused much damage to the security personnel, he said.
After the encounter, Naxals looted three UBGL (under barrel grenade launcher) armoured AK-47, 7 AK-47, one Insas-LMG, one Insas, a bullet-proof jacket, a GPS, one binoculars, a monopack and several magazines of AK-47, Insas and Insas-LMG of CRPF men and fled to the dense forests, he said.
The official ruled out any intelligence lapse in view of the incident and said routine area domination operations were intensified in the region from past several weeks and were not based on any specific inputs.