Police pound Maoist hideouts, 10 bodies recovered

RAIPUR - In one of Chhattisgarh’s biggest drives against Maoist insurgents, at least 10 guerrillas and a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer were killed as over 500 policemen pounded rebel hideouts across Bastar region Friday.

The gunfights broke out in thickly forested stretches, some 450 km south of the state capital Raipur, in Dantewada district that is described India’s worst Maoist-hit district.
“We have encircled over 100 Maoist terrorists in their stronghold at more than one location. Their landmine protected bases and arms factory were put under heavy fire. About two dozens insurgents were feared killed but we have collected 10 bodies so far,” Girdhari Nayak, additional director general of police, told IANS.
Police officials added that the casualty figure might surge as about 500 local police and Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (Cobra) personnel were still engaged in battling the heavily armed Maoists.
Maoists, who claim to be fighting for the rights of poor farmers and landless labourers, are expanding their influence in the rural areas of east, central and southern India.
Thousands have been killed in the Maoist insurgency that began in the late 1960s and which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described as one of the gravest threats to India’s internal security.