Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dantewada: Another Naxal attack; no reports of casualties

NDTV Correspondent, Tuesday April 20, 2010, Raipur

Maoists on Tuesday night carried out near-simultaneous attacks on five Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camps in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, triggering gunbattles. There was no immediate report of any casualty on either side, sources said. (Read: Chronology of major Naxal attacks)

About 300 to 400 Naxalites carried out the attacks on the camps, where the paramilitary personnel and policemen were resting in Kanker Lanka, Potampalli and Bheji at around 7:30 pm, sources said.

The CRPF and the policemen retaliated, sparking intermittent gunbattles with the Maoists which lasted till 9:30 pm.

Chhattisgarh Additional Director General of police Ram Niwas said that the ultras fired from a distance, which was responded to by the CRPF and the police. However, there was no casualty, he said.

Sources said all CRPF and police camps in the area have been put on high alert after the incident.

It may be possible that the third group of Naxals (roughly 75-100) were trying to move to Orissa - this group was holding in the forest south of Dornapal in Chhattisgarh.

Sources have told NDTV that the Naxals fired on camps to facilitate aides' escape to Orissa, they could also have been testing CRPF response.

In the country's worst Maoist attack ever, at least 75 CRPF and a state police personnel were killed in an ambush on April 6, in the thick Mukrana forests of Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district. The dead include a Deputy and an Assistant Commandant of the CRPF, and a head constable of the district police. (Read & watch: 76 security men killed by Naxals in Chhattisgarh)

Ironically, today's attack has happened hardly two weeks after Home Minister P Chidambaram had lauded the sacrifices of the paramilitary force and said the government was trying to ensure that personnel from it were well-paid, well-housed and well-equipped. (With PTI inputs)

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