Raipur/New Delhi: In a deadly attack on security forces in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district, on Wednesday, suspected Maoist insurgents killed 11 personnel from the Chhattisgarh Police’s District Reserve Guard, which is a special anti-Maoist unit.
According to Chhattisgarh Police, the District Reserve Guard personnel were travelling on a minivan while patrolling the Aranpur Road in the district’s Maoist-infested area when the Maoists blew their vehicle up using an improvised explosive device (IED). The blast was so powerful that it created a 10-foot-deep crater and split the road.
The fallen DRG personnel were identified as: Joga Sodhi, head constable; Munna Ram Kadti, head constable; Santosh Tamo, head constable; Dulgo Mandavi, constable; Hariram Mandavi, constable; Joga Kawasi, constable; Lakhmu Markam, constable; and gopaniya sainiks (informers/intelligence gatherers/undercover police assistants) Jagdish Kawasi, Jairam Podiam, and Raju Ram Kartan.
CM pays tribute, vows to ‘root out’ Maoists
The Chhattisgarh chief minister, Bhupesh Baghel, condemned the attack and paid his tributes to the fallen DRG personnel. In a tweet, he expressed his grief over the loss of lives and said the people of the state pay respect to the departed souls and mourn their loss.
दंतेवाड़ा के थाना अरनपुर क्षेत्र अंतर्गत माओवादी कैडर की उपस्थिति की सूचना पर नक्सल विरोधी अभियान के लिए पहुंचे डीआरजी बल पर आईईडी विस्फोट से हमारे 10 डीआरजी जवान एवं एक चालक के शहीद होने का समाचार बेहद दुखद है।— Bhupesh Baghel (@bhupeshbaghel) April 26, 2023
हम सब प्रदेशवासी उन्हें अपनी श्रद्धांजलि अर्पित करते हैं। उनके…
Later, during an interaction with reporters, Baghel said the war on the Maoists was in its final stage. He vowed not to spare any Maoist and said the sacrifice of the slain policemen won’t go in vain. He said the Maoist insurgency will be “weeded out from the root”.
VIDEO | "This is very saddening. I express my condolences to the families of jawans who have been martyred. This war is in its last phase and the Naxalites will not be spared," says Chhattisgarh CM @bhupeshbaghel. pic.twitter.com/2dAhFHsah5— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) April 26, 2023
District Reserve Guard
The District Reserve Guard is a special unit of the Chhattisgarh Police which was specifically raised from the local tribal youth to counter the Maoists. It has a women’s commando wing as well called Danteshwari Ladake.
Since its formation, the DRG has been very effective in keeping the Maoists under check in the state. The last couple of years of relative calm in the Maoist-infested region is primarily attributed to the efforts of the DRG. This is the reason why the DRG is always on the Maoists’ hit list.
Recent Chhattisgarh Maoist attacks
Of late, there has been a visible rise in Maoist attacks in Chhattisgarh. This was the second such attack on the District Reserve Guard in the last two weeks. A similar attack, which was carried out on April 17 in the state’s Bijapur district, seriously injured one DRG policeman.
On April 18, the Chhattisgarh Police killed a suspected Maoist militant in an encounter and arrested two others in the state’s Bastar district. On the same day, Congress MLA Vikram Mandavi narrowly escaped when his convoy was fired upon by suspected Maoists.
Then on April 20, a Chhattisgarh policeman was seriously injured in an IED blast triggered by suspected Maoists in Bijapur.
It may be noted that, on Tuesday, the inspector general of Chhattisgarh Police’s Bastar Range, Sundarraj P told reporters that More than 400 Maoist insurgents were laying down their arms every year. He credited the state’s “Lone Varratu” campaign in Dantewada for this success. The Gond term “lone varattu” means “coming back home”.
Baghel talks to Shah
Soon after Wednesday’s deadly attack on the DRG patrol van, Baghel spoke to the Union home minister, Amit Shah, and discussed the incident. Shah told him that the Centre will give all possible help to the state government.
Later, Shah tweeted expressing his anguish over the attack, which claimed the lives of 11 policemen. He also extended his condolences to the bereaved kin of the fallen.
Anguished by the cowardly attack on the Chhattisgarh police at Dantewada. Have spoken to Chhattisgarh's Chief Minister and assured all possible assistance to the state government. My condolences to the bereaved family members of the martyred Jawans.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) April 26, 2023
Even the prime minister, Narendra Modi, condemned the suspected Maoist attack and expressed his grief over the killings of the 11 Chhattisgarh DRG policemen. In a tweet, he paid his tributes to the fallen policemen and said their sacrifice will always be remembered.
Strongly condemn the attack on the Chhattisgarh police in Dantewada. I pay my tributes to the brave personnel we lost in the attack. Their sacrifice will always be remembered. My condolences to the bereaved families.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 26, 2023