Thursday, April 09, 2009

Netam bros fought bravely against Naxals, younger died

8 Apr 2009, 0318 hrs IST, Soumittra S Bose

GADCHIROLI: C-60 commando Laxman Netam, 34, was right in front, his younger brother 30-year-old Gopichand was towards the tail of the combined
squad. Laxman was leading the onslaught on the rebels while Gopi was protecting the rear flank.

The Netam brothers left behind a true story of heroism in the heartland of Naxal terror that came alive for their squad near Mungner village in Gadchiroli’s Dhanora tehsil. The encounter claimed three cops but also inflicted high casualties on Naxalites who lost their 14 cadres.

Gopi, whose marriage was fixed for May 29-30, was hit on the head after he is believed to have gunned down four Naxals.

He had joined the force in 2006 and finally laid his life down fighting a grim battle with Naxalites. Laxman, who too was returning the enemy fire in front, also claimed to have killed three Naxals. He is older in the force too having joined in 1998.

“I came to know through wireless communication much later that Gopi was no more. I was leading the attack. Gopi kept the enemy engaged at the back not allowing them to surround us from all side,” said Laxman. He was piloting the combined squad of Commander Munna Singh Thakur on Monday evening.

Thakur’s party was patrolling along Mungner when a heavily armed group of almost 300 Naxals engaged them in a fierce encounter that lasted nearly three hours. Gopi’s aide Dnyaneshwar Seiph too was shot. Two more commandos from Special Action Group (SAG) were engaged in keeping the Naxals away from attacking the rear side of the patrolling party.

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