Four suspected members of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) were killed in an encounter with the police in Maoist-insurgency-hit Bastar region of Chhattisgarh late night on Sunday.
The encounter took place on the main road near Tumnar village in Bijapur district.
“A police team led by Bijapur district Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mohit Garg and a team of CRPF’s Special Action team were asked to cordon off all suspected access routes to Bijapur on the specific intelligence about the suspected movement of Maoists’ small action team comprising senior Maoist cadres. The team stopped an SUV which was moving without a number plate near ITI complex on Tumnar road late night on Sunday to check the people inside. But the people in the SUV quickly moved out of the vehicle and opened fire on the police team resulting in a bullet injury to sub-inspector Devendra Darro,” informed Bastar range Inspector General (G) of Police Mr.S.R.P.Kalluri in a statement.
The police team and the CRPF team also opened retaliatory fire. “Four dead bodies of Maoists, one 9 mm pistol, one 315 bore gun, one country made Bharmar gun, ten rounds of AK-47 and mobile phones were recovered from the vehicle after the encounter. A blood-stained T-shirt was also found from the spot of the encounter indicating a possibility of some more Maoists being injured or killed during the encounter,” added the IG.
The injured cop suffered a bullet injury in his left thigh and has been shifted to Jagdalpur district headquarters of Bastar for treatment.
Sunday night’s encounter was a rare encounter in Bastar as it is unusual for Maoists to travel in a vehicle from the main road.
Three out of four dead Maoists were identified as Gangaloor Local Guerrilla Squad commander Ukesh, PLGA Military company no.2 commander Raju and Gangaloor Area Committee member of the CPI(Maoist) Sadru.
“This (Maoist) squad was responsible for the murder of police constable Bira Basant in April this year. They also killed auxiliary constable Tirupati earlier this month. This encounter has ensured the safety of villagers and security forces in Gangaloor area. The death of Ukesh is a big incident for Gangaloor area. The entire area can be free from terror and fear now. He had a complete militia company under him, some of whom may surrender now and a demand for a police camp in the area can also materialise,” claimed Mr.Kalluri.
According to an officer involved in the anti-Maoist operations in Bastar, it was the Maoists’ strategy to use new and expensive vehicles to avoid search at police camps.
“Many senior Maoist leaders were employing this tactic to travel. Even this particular Maoist team was moving in expensive vehicles for a long time but this time, they were unlucky ,” the officer said requesting anonymity.