14 Maoists killed in Gadchiroli in a major anti- Maoist operation

Nagpur: Police killed 14 Maoists in an encounter in Bhamragad block of Gadchiroli district. This is the biggest action in Gadchiroli district in the last 38 years. Two Maoist commanders are among the dead and the encounter still continues as per information. The Police have started a massive search campaign for the Maoists who have escaped into the jungles.

The encounter started in Bhamragad block in Gadchiroli at around 9.30 in the morning. The police had received information that movements of ‘Paralimili Dalam’, the Maoist group active in the region, were seen around the area near the Tadgaon village. Once the news of Maoists’ presence in the Baria forest section was confirmed, the police unit ‘C-60’ – specially created for action against Maoists, was dispatched in that direction.

14 Maoists, killed, C-60, major anti- Maoist, operation, Gadchiroli district, PoliceAt the sight of the police, the Maoists opened fire. But the alert policemen collected themselves and launched a strong counterattack.  Maoists suffered heavy losses in the police retaliation. On noticing that their colleagues were injured, the Maoists started retreating into the jungle. The Maoists were trying to carry the dead bodies of their colleagues.

The police have succeeded in reducing the Maoists’ influence in Gadchiroli district over the last few years. But the Maoists are still quite active in Bhamragad, which is adjoining the Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh. This is a part of Dandakaranya. The Maoists killed in the Bhamragad action include two main commanders, namely Sainath and Shrinu of the Maoist Group ‘Paralimili Dalam’. 12 bodies of Maoists have been recovered from the jungle until now.

Large blood stains have also been observed leading to a belief that a large number of Maoists have been injured.

Director General of Police Satish Mathur and Inspector General of Police Sharad Shelar have congratulated the C-60 unit for their success. Director General of Police Mathur claimed this to be the most successful operation against the Maoists in the Dandakaranya sector. Not a single policeman was injured in the operation. Mathur has said that the number of Maoists killed in the operation can increase.

The Dandakaranya sector is spread over Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Odisha. This region includes Bastar and Dantewada areas, which have the highest Maoist influence and Aabuzamad, the inaccessible forest mountain range.

3 Maoists were killed in the encounter at Sironcha in Gadchiroli on 3rd April. 6 Maoists were killed in an encounter in 2013, while 7 Maoists were killed in an encounter in Gadchiroli in December 2017. Since then, this is the first time that such a large number of Maoists have been killed in a single encounter. 19 Maoists were killed in separate encounters in 2017. So far in this year 21 Maoists have been killed.

Only last week, there was a report about Maoist influence having reduced in the country. The Home ministry removed 41 districts from the list of districts under Maoist influence. It is clear that the Maoist violence and network in these districts, has been finished. The Maoist activities have reduced by around 25% in the last year. A Home ministry official claimed that these are results of the developmental works undertaken by the government over and above the armed actions.

NIA investigates Maoist Funding

It has been observed that the Maoists are being funded for violence and to create chaos through the ‘money laundering’ route. After it was revealed that the Maoists are receiving funding from some of their sympathisers, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has undertaken a detailed investigation into the matter. As per reports a special unit of the NIA has been created for this purpose.

14 Maoists, killed, C-60, major anti- Maoist, operation, Gadchiroli district, PoliceThese Maoist leaders who bomb schools and colleges are seen to be using these funds for their personal gains and have been seen spending hundreds of thousands of rupees on their children’s education abroad. But the children in the areas under Maoist influence are denied education. It has been revealed that the Maoists are also forcibly collecting ransom from the locals.

The Maoist sympathisers are funding the Maoist activities through the ‘money laundering’ route. The NIA operation has started with an objective to find out the network used for funding the Maoists and to expose the real face of these Maoist leaders before the country.

The NIA investigation had revealed the information about Pakistani sources of the separatist leaders’ funding in Jammu-Kashmir. These separatist leaders had prospered because of the Pakistani funds. On the same lines, NIA has set up a special unit to investigate the Maoist funding.