CRPF launches attack on Maoists, recovers weapons
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No casualty figure available as bodies not found; 23 backpacks recovered
In a first major offensive against the Maoists in the forests in Laheri area of Gadchiroli,Maharashtra in the past three years, the CRPF engaged in an hour-long encounter with the rebels on Sunday morning. Though no bodies were recovered, the security forces found SBML guns, assorted ammunition and explosives. Officials say the Maoists are known for not leaving any bodies behind.
The CRPF men also recovered 23 backpacks from the area which points to the fact that a big group of Maoists was on the move. "We have also seized some literature and are analysing them for future use," said Nalin Prabhat, IG, CRPF, Maharashtra.
Officials involved in the operation said the unit which came under attack could belong to the People's Liberation Group Army (PLGA) but the information about their leader is still unknown. The PLGA's head Chandna surrendered last year in Andhra Pradesh.
"The area where the Maoists take refuge are dense jungles and planning any operation is not an easy task. In the past one month we have had eleven encounters with the Maoists but have not been able to make any recoveries. Sunday's encounter was different one where we were backed by solid intelligence inputs, " said a senior officer on condition of anonymity.
CRPF has deployed around 6,000 men in the state including one battalion of the CoBRA commandos. A senior CRPF officer said when it came to intelligence sharing, the state police was not very forthcoming, which in turn was affecting their operations.
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