A commando kidnapped by Maoist rebels after a deadly meeting in Chhattisgarh on Saturday in which 22 soldiers were killed have been released after more than 100 hours in captivity, the state government said Thursday.
Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, was taken hostage by the Maoists following the shooting that lasted nearly three hours in the rebel stronghold.
In the deadliest ambush of its kind in four years, some 2,000 security personnel were searching for a Maoist rebel leader in the Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh state on Saturday when some of the between them were attacked.
The rebels looted weapons, ammunition, uniforms and shoes from the security forces which were killed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that “the sacrifices of the brave martyrs will never be forgotten”, while Home Secretary Amit Shah wrote on Twitter that India “will continue our fight against these enemies of peace and progress”.
The encounter was the worst for Indian security forces fighting far-left guerrillas since 2017, when 25 police commandos were killed in an attack.
Seventeen policemen from a commando patrol were killed in an attack by more than 300 armed rebels in Chhattisgarh in March last year.
Sixteen commandos were also killed in the western state of Maharashtra on the eve of elections in India in 2019, in a bomb attack blamed on the Maoists.
Maoists – who say they are fighting for rural people and the poor – have been fighting government forces in eastern India since the 1960s.
Thousands of people have been killed in the fighting.