18 Naxalites killed in encounter in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district

Raipur: In a significant offensive targeting the outlawed CPI (Maoist) ahead of Lok Sabha polling, 18 left-wing extremists met their end in a fierce clash with security forces within the Kalpad forested area of Kanker district, located approximately 220 km south of Raipur.

Incidentally, this comes close on the heels of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah reiterating his government’s resolve to wipe left-wing extremism from their last bastion, that is Chattisgarh.

“This operation, driven by actionable intelligence, was a collaborative effort between the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Kanker District Reserve Force (DRG). We have recovered the bodies of 18 Maoists along with a cache of automatic weapons and ammunition. Our search efforts in the region have been intensified,” stated Sundarraj P, Inspector General of Police for the Bastar range.

According to DIG (BSF) Alok Kumar Singh, among those neutralized was Shankar Rao, a prominent Maoist commander. “This operation was meticulously planned and executed. We strategically positioned ourselves based on reliable intelligence indicating Maoist presence in the area. Surveillance of their movements was constant,” he elaborated.

Two security personnel, including a BSF inspector, sustained injuries during the operation.

The seized arsenal from the encounter site includes five AK-47 rifles, one INSAS assault rifle, and a substantial quantity of ammunition.

“Our forces are currently engaged in the area and are yet to return to the district headquarters. Additional reinforcements have been dispatched to bolster the ongoing search operation. Further updates are anticipated,” remarked Indira Kalyan Elesela, Superintendent of Police for Kanker, speaking to TNIE.

Lok Sabha polling is slated for April 19 and April 26 in the constituencies of Bastar and Kanker, respectively.

Kanker is one of the seven Maoist-affected districts within the conflict-prone northern Bastar zone.