Armed cadres of the outlawed CPI Maoists launched a full-fledged attack on a security camp near the inter-district border of Sukma and Bijapur on January 16, according to sources familiar with the developments.
According to the reports floating in the media, around 400 cadres of the proscribed outfit launched an attack on the Dharmawaram Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp late in the evening of January 16. The gunfight between the forces and the Maoists lasted for around 3 to 4 hours, following which the Maoists opted to retreat.
The attack was launched to loot the arms and ammunition alongside killing a significant number of security personnel, and the extremists were also carrying a huge quantity of country-made BGL grenades, which they were launching at regular intervals.
It’s been learned that the attack by the extremists was thoroughly planned, as separate teams of the extremists were also firing on the nearby other security camps of the security personnel with an aim of denying any reinforcement at the Dharmavaram camp.
Further, the Maoists have also planted a significant number of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), disrupting the routes approaching the camp by cutting trees with a view to counter any reinforcement to the personnel stationed at the Dharmavaram camp.
Additionally, the ultras were also donning specific uniforms made of grass to evade their identity till they take position near the camp, along with carrying cutters to cut the fences and make a possible entry into the camp.
Though, despite the well-thought-out attack on the camp, the vigilant security personnel of the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) and CRPF who were deployed at the entrance of the camp not only thwarted the plan of the extremists but neutralised as many as three Maoists in the retaliatory firing.
It’s been learned that the extremists carried out the attack in retaliation for the recent opening of security camps in the core Maoist zones of Sukma district and adjoining regions.
Recent opening of Security camps
It is to be noted that, of late, the security forces, in coordination with the district police, have established a number of security camps in the core Maoist zone of Chhattisgarh. As many as four camps have been opened in the last three months alone. These newly established camps have been opened in regions such as Murkurajkonda of Duled, and Metaguda, which were earlier considered no-go zones for the forces.
The development occurred after the Union Government in its second term gave a nod to intensify counter-offensive operations against the insurgents in the Southern Bastar region, a stronghold of the extremist since decades.
The area is known for the frequent movement of the Peoples Liberation Guerilla Army, the armed wing of the outlawed CPI Maoist battalion number 1, where the government has reportedly set a target of opening up more than three dozen camps.
It is assumed that the idea behind the opening of these security camps in these regions is not only aimed at boosting the development work in the surroundings without any disruption by the extremists but also to help security forces win back the trust of the residents by running various civic action programmes aimed at improving the quality of life in these unexplored regions.