Maoists may plan fresh offence against security forces, says intel report

A recent insurgent attack in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh killed 22 jawans and left many more severely injured

Mortal remains of a jawan of CRPF's CoBRA battalion, who lost his life in an encounter with Naxals in Sukma, brought to Jagdalpur on Wednesday. Pic: ANI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has promised strong response to recent Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh, but the insurgents seem prepared to launch fresh offence against security forces.

A recent Maoist attack in the Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh killed 22 jawans and left many more severely injured. Intelligence officials suspect the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) is planning non-conventional tactics, which may even include use of rocket launchers, India Today TV reported.

Deception is a part of the Maoist strategy which they have effectively employed of late. The tactical counter offensive campaign of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army has been bloodiest in recent past and they have changed their modus operandi for deception of the security forces.

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Intelligence sources say the insurgents may also use high tension wires to target grounds in near future. The Maoists also have the capabilities to target helicopters using rocket launchers. Besides, they are capable of using remote control IEDs and place booby traps.

The Bijapur attack

About 2,000 security personnel were along the border of Sukma and Bijapur in the Bastar region on April 3, 2021, in search of a most-wanted bandit, Hidma, when they were ambushed. The security forces were not even sure what he looked like. All that the forces knew is that Hidma is responsible for some of the biggest attacks against them in recent years.

Hidma commands the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army’s Battalion 1 — the most heavily armed battalion of the Maoists — and is a member of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC), which leads the operations in Chhattisgarh. Battalion 1 operates in districts of South Bastar, Bijapur, Sukuma and Dantewada — all Maoist hotbeds.

From Dantewada, where 76 CRPF jawans were killed in 2010, to Sukma, where the state Congress leadership was wiped out in 2013, to the latest incident in Tarrem in Bijapur where 23 security personnel were ambushed by Maoists, Hidma — who carries a reward of Rs 45 lakh on his head — is believed to have personally led all the operations.

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