The security forces in Chhattisgarh, despite “operational losses,” are jubilant at what they say is a strategic gain made in ‘Operation Greenhunt.’

The CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) unit has successfully taken control of pockets which had been the site of Maoist camps and congregations for many years. The capture of a weapon-making unit came as a morale booster.

“Our forces could go to Singanmadugu, where some 24 naxalites were killed, for the first time after the Maoists gained ground in South Bastar. It is by all means a major success for our forces,” said Amrish Misra, Superintendent of Police of Dantewada. He said the security forces could open up the forest routes connecting the tribal communities.

Operations suspended

The combing operations, which he said were suspended for the time being, helped pre-empt the moves of the Maoists who were expected to go all out to mark the party formation day on September 21. The CoBRA unit forces, the Koya commandos as well as the district armed force personnel were all back at their bases.

The success of the operation would usher in a new phase, facilitating restoration of civilian administration in the erstwhile Maoist strongholds. This was the first step in the direction of clearing the jungles of south Bastar of Maoists. Mr. Misra admitted that the death of six security personnel, including two officers of SDOP rank, was a major blow.

All the 24 persons killed in the operation at Singanmadugu were naxalites of the CPI(Maoist). The security forces targeted no civilian territory in the operation. There was no habitation for many kilometres in the vicinity of Palachelma, where the Koya commandos and the district forces launched an offensive on the Maoist camp.

Only six bodies of naxalites and some ammunition were recovered from the place of the encounter. Some important literature, including journals of the CPI (Maoist), was recovered in the operation and it was expected to throw light on the Maoist movement in the country.