Squads of the Chhattisgarh police sneaked into forests in Dantewada district early Wednesday to track Maoist guerrillas who opened fire near five Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camps the night before, exactly two weeks after the massive attack in the area that killed 76 security personnel.
“The cops sneaked into Maoist dominated forested pockets in Dantewada in the wee hours to track down the insurgents who opened fire near five CRPF camps and then vanished into thick forests Tuesday night,” Inspector General of Police T.J. Longkumer told IANS over phone.
Armed Maoists backed by Sangham (village-level cadres) members fired at areas near five CRPF camps on Tuesday night, which triggered panic among troopers, who then retaliated. No injuries or casualties were reported in the incident.
“It seems the firing was intended to provoke the troopers,” Dantewada’s Superintendent of Police Amresh Mishra told IANS.
He said the firing was reported at CRPF camps in Chintagufa, Errabore, Pollampalli, Bhejji and Kankerlanka — all in Dantewada district, about 500 km from State capital Raipur.
Two Tuesdays ago, on April 6, Maoists had killed 75 CRPF troopers and a Chhattisgarh policeman in Dantewada in the worst ever attack on security forces since the movement began over four decades ago.
Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region, made up of Dantewada, Bastar, Bijapur, Narayanpur and Kanker districts, is spread over 40,000 sq km and has been a Maoist stronghold since the late 1980s.