A first-of-its-kind anti-Naxalite operation has allowed paramilitary forces to breach the Abujmaad forests in Chhattisgarh, a left-wing Maoist stronghold with no government presence for ages.
Armed with modern equipment, over 3,000 men from CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) and its elite strike unit, CoBRA, other paramilitary forces and state police have been combing the forests spread over 4,000 sq km during March.
Codenamed “Maad”, “Kilam” and “Podku,” the operation was monitored by CRPF Director General K Vijay Kumar and Inspector General (Operations) in Chhattisgarh, Pankaj Singh.
Armed with a British-era survey map of the jungle, they decided that the troops would enter from three sides — Narayanpur-Gadchiroli (Maad) with point of contact at Jatwar in the heart of the jungle, Bhairamgarh-Matwara (Podku) and Mardapal-Chotedonger (Kilam).
“The operations involved some 3,000 CRPF, CoBRA and state police troops ,” said IG Singh, adding that 33 Maoist cadres were arrested.
“The operation began on March 5 and continued till March 20,” said the officer. Naxalites, as the Maoists are better known, are left-wing insurgents who want to overthrow the state and bring about a Communist society.