Thursday, August 30, 2007

Maoists kill 12 policemen in Chhattisgarh

30 Aug 2007, 0231 hrs IST,Amitabh Tiwari,TNN

RAIPUR: Red terror returned to haunt Chhattisgarh on Wednesday with Maoists ambushing a convoy of policemen travelling through the forests of Dantewada, killing at least 12 security personnel. It was the worst Naxal attack since the chilling July 10 offensive when Maoists killed 24 cops in a similarly brazen ambush. On March 15, this year, 55 policemen were massacred in Bijapur when Communist guerrillas attacked a police camp.

Wednesday’s attack, obviously executed on specific and early information about police movement, was carried out by 100 armed Maoists who were waiting behind bushes and trees in the area, about 550 km from Raipur, to welcome the convoy with a hail of bullets. It once again demonstrated how the Naxals, who control vast swathes of the forested areas populated by tribal sympathisers, easily obtain information on police movements. On the other hand, the cops haven’t been so successful in tracking Naxal plans. The attack also shows how the Naxalites, despite the security in the area, are able to cobble together attack squads of more than 100 combatants.

The policemen were on their way to secure an area at Tarmekla village in Jagargunda where the Naxals had blocked the construction of a road.

"The team comprising the Chhattisgarh Armed Force, SPOs and cops were divided into two groups. The Maoists ambushed the rear party and opened fire on it," DGP Vishwaranjan said, adding that there was a heavy exchange of fire during which the police party got fragmented and scattered in the forests. When the cops regrouped, they found 15 of their men were missing and presumed all to be dead. Later in the day, three policemen returned to the camp.

"Although 25 securitymen returned to the Jagargunda police station by evening, 12 of them, including Jagargunda SHO Hemant Kumar, were killed in the attack," he said. Three policemen were wounded in the gun-battle.

The guerrillas also looted sophisticated weapons like AK-47s, SLRs and .303 rifles.

In a separate incident, Naxalites set a Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board’s truck on fire in Nukanpal village under the Avapalli police station in Bijapur district. The rebels have targetted security personnel who dare to venture into the dense forests to prevent them from setting up strongholds inside the forests besides taking away their weapons. But the Red guerrillas also hit development works like road construction on a regular basis in a bid to stop the interior villages from getting better connectivity to the outside world, something that will pose a threat to their dominance.

Trigger happy

• Sept 3, 2005: 20 cops killed in landmine blasts in Bijapur
• Feb 28, 2006: Maoists blow up truck in Dantewada, 55 civilians killed
• March 25, 2006: 13 civilians killed in Kanker in a landmine blast
• April 28, 2006: 13 persons taken hostage beheaded in Dantewada
• March 15, 2007: 55 cops killed in an attack on a police outpost in Radi Bodli, Bijapur. More than 300 Naxals carried out the attack
• July 10, 2007: 24 security personnel killed in the forests of Regergetta near Errabore in Dantewada

No comments: