Tuesday, June 15, 2021

NIA takes over probe in July 2019 encounter with Maoists in Bastar

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over a probe from Chhattisgarh police into an encounter security forces had with a group of Maoists in Bastar in July 2019, in which six Maoists and a civilian were killed, people familiar with the development said.

It was not immediately known why NIA has been roped in to investigate a case after almost two years while the recent — April 3, 2021 — ambush in Bijapur, in which 22 security personnel were killed by a group of Maoists led by their most dreaded commander, Madvi Hidma, is still being investigated by the local police.

Officials familiar with process said the central agency has taken over 5-6 cases similar cases in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh this year as it prepares to initiate strong action against the Maoists.

Also Read | ‘3 killed in exchange of fire between security forces, Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma’: Police

The latest case pertains to an exchange of fire between the security forces and Maoists on July 27, 2019 near Tiriya village in Bastar region. A joint team of local District Reserve Guard (DRG), Special Task Force and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), had travelled to the area after receiving information that a group of Maoist cadre had gathered near Tiriya with an intention to perpetrate a big incident on July 28 — Shaheed Diwas.

During the gunfight, six Maoists, including three women cadres, and a civilian were killed and security forces recovered several arms and ammunition, including seven rifles.

The government has claimed in Parliament that there is 70% decline in Maoists violence in the country – from all-time high of 2,258 incidents in 2009 to 665 in 2020.

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