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NATION                                                                       APRIL 09, 2021  |    The Indian Eye                          10

                Maoist hostage drama: are the armed

             rebels getting stronger in dense jungles?

        In Chhattisgarh attack, 22 commandos are killed and one taken hostage for 5 days as Amit Shah promises strong response

        Our Bureau

            n a shocking attack in the jungles of Ch-
            hattisgarh’s Bijapur district, around 400
        IMaoists ambushed security personnel
        during an anti-Naxal operation. Some 22
        special commandos were killed in the at-
        tack. One jawan went missing while around
        30 were injured.
            The anti-Naxal operation was launched
        by a strong contingent of about 1,500 troops
        drawn from the CRPF’s specialized jungle
        warfare unit CoBRA, a few from its regular
        battalions, a unit of its Bastariya battalion,
        the  Chhattisgarh  Police-affiliated  District
        Reserve Guard (DRG) and others.
            Union home minister Amit Shah on
        Monday said the sacrifice of 22 security per-
        sonnel killed in a Maoist ambush over the                           The wife and family members celebrate after the release of
        weekend will be remembered for taking the                      CRPF Jawan Rameshwar Singh Manhas, in Jammu on Thursday. (ANI)
        battle against the extremists to a “decisive
        turn”, and said that the counter-insurgency  party of jawans were ambushed by Naxals  Action (CoBRA) is a unit of the CRPF.
        battle will be intensified to take it to a “log- near Jonnaguda village.                             “Meanwhile, we have received a let-
        ical end”.                                           Earlier the banned Communist Party of  ter from the Maoists and have a brief idea
            Shah, who visited Chhattisgarh on  India (Maoist) issued an open letter men- about him. We have confirmed the authen-
        Monday to review the situation and to pay  tioning its willingness to negotiate with the  tication of the letter. We are closely looking
        tributes to those killed in the encounter,  Central government. The banned outfit also  into the matter,” Sunderraj said.
        chaired a high-level meet at Jagdalpur, the  proposed that the Centre announce media-                The 2-page statement in Telugu signed
        headquarters of Bastar district. Chief min- tors for the release of the captivated jawan.  by “Vikalp” on behalf of Dandakaranya
        ister  Bhupesh  Baghel  and  senior  officials  “In the Bijapur attack, 24 security person- Special Zonal Committee of the Maoists
        of the state police and the Central Reserve  nel lost their lives and 31 of them injured.  said 2,000 policemen had attacked them
        Police Force (CRPF) were present at the  One jawan is in our custody. Four People’s  and that four People’s Liberation Guerril-
        meeting.                                         Liberation Guerrilla Army personnel lost  la Army (PLGA) cadres were killed in the
            On     Thursday,     Rakeshwar      Singh their lives. We are ready to negotiate with  encounter at Tarrem on April 3.
        Manhas, the commando from the Cen- the government. They can announce medi-                           It added that they had also taken away
        tral Reserve Police Force’s elite CoBRA  ators. We will release him (captive jawan).  14 weapons, over 2,000 rounds of ammuni-
        unit, who was taken by Naxals during the  Police jawans are not our enemies,” read  tion, and other items belonging to the secu-
        Bijapur attack on April 3, was released by  the letter.                                           rity personnel.
        them. Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh               The Director General of CRPF Kuld-              Also, ANI spoke to a local journal-
        expressed his happiness over the release of  iep Singh on Tuesday told ANI, “One  ist, Ganesh Mishra. He said, “Recently,
        commando and said it was a huge relief for  jawan Rakeshwar Singh Manhas is still  Rakeshwar  Singh Manhas’s daughter  re-
        his family as well as the entire Jammu re- missing. Rumors are that he is in the cap- leased a video requesting the Maoists to
        gion. “A huge relief for the family as well as  tivity of Naxals. Currently, we are verifying  hand over her father safely to the author-
        the entire Jammu region. Thanks to Prime  the news and planning an operation in that  ities. In another communication by the
        Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home  regard.”                                                   Maoists, they have assured that they will
        Minister Amit Shah,” the minister said in a          The banned organization further said  release a video message of the jawan soon.”
        tweet. Singh is an MP from Udhampur.             that the state government would announce            “Also, if the state government cooper-
            Twenty-two security personnel lost their  a mediator and only then they would release  ates (as per the Maoists), they will release
        lives while 31 sustained injuries in an en- the CRPF commando to the mediator. the jawan within two days”, he added. Fi-
        counter that broke out between security              The Chhattisgarh police has confirmed  nally, the jawan was released on Thursday.
        forces and Naxals along the Chhattisgarh’s  that the “letter is genuine.”                         It brought a relief not just to a family but to
        Sukma-Bijapur border on Saturday after a             The Commando Battalion for Resolute  an entire nation.

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