On Saturday, the Chhattisgarh witnessed one of Naxal’s deadliest attacks in recent times, when 22 jawans were killed and 31 were injured in a deadly four-hour clash against the Red Terror along the border between the districts of Bijapur and Sukma. On the other hand, the Bastar Range IG had claimed that 12 Maoists had been killed during the meeting, according to their technical contribution.
During this incident, the rebels kidnapped a commando group named Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, who was being held hostage by the Maoists. After more than 100 hours of captivity on Thursday, the state government announced that the rebels had released the commando.
Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, a commando of the 210th Battalion of CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), an elite unit of the CRPF, had disappeared after the fierce shootout with the Maoists. Previously, the Chhattisgarh police said there had been “positive developments” in their efforts to secure Manhas’ release.
The incident came as some 2,000 security personnel were searching for a Maoist rebel leader in the Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh state on Saturday. During the encounter, the rebels looted weapons, ammunition, uniforms and shoes from the security forces which were killed.
On Tuesday, the banned CPI (Maoist) issued a statement saying its cadres removed Manhas from the ambush site and demanded that the Chhattisgarh government appoint interlocutors to ensure his safe release.
The encounter was the worst for Indian security forces fighting far-left guerrillas since 2017, when 25 police commandos were killed in an attack.