Raipur, Oct 22: Several police squads sneaked into the forested parts of Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district Saturday in a bid to apprehend Maoists, a day after rebels killed six policemen in an ambush, police said.
‘Several District Force (DF) squads are combing forested parts at Netanar village and nearby areas to arrest Maoists who engineered the deadly ambush,’ said Additional Director General of Police Ramniwas.
Dozens of Maoists Friday afternoon ambushed a 16-member DF contingent in Netanar village, barely 30 km away from Jagdalpur town, headquarters of insurgency-affected Bastar region.
Six policemen were killed on the spot while five were still battling for life.
Maoists first attacked the policemen on motorcycles and then opened indiscriminate firing. The policemen were returning from inspecting a forest rest-house in Netanar damaged by rebels Thursday.
‘Netnanar is not much affected by Maoists insurgency,’ said Bastar District Superintendent of Police Ratanlal Dangi.
‘There was some Maoist movement reported in the area in recent months, but we don’t think they have become very strong in the area. We need to comb the entire forested areas in and around Netanar to stamp them out,’ Dangi said.
The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) holds sway since late 1980s in the jungle interiors of the 40,000 sq km Bastar region made up of five districts — Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker, Bastar and Dantewada.
Police officers say that over 2,000 people have been killed in Maoist violence in the state since it came into existence in Nov 2000.