Raipur: Seven Naxals, allegedly involved in Mailwada landmine attack last month in which seven CRPF personnel were killed, were arrested from Dantewada district after a gun battle with security forces, police said on Tuesday.
"The cadres were rounded up from Kankipara forests under Kuakonda police station area after the gun battle between a joint team of security forces and rebels yesterday in which a Maoist was injured," Dantewada SP Kamlochan Kashyap told PTI.
On March 30, seven CRPF personnel were killed after Maoists triggered a powerful landmine blast blowing up their vehicle on a main road between Mailwada and Mokhpal villages in Kuakonda police station area in Dantewada district.
"A composite squad of district force, District Reserve Group, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) 195th battalion and CRPF's elite Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) 206th battalion had launched a search operation yesterday in the interiors of Kuakonda, based on the inputs about the presence of the ultras who were involved in Mailwada attack," he said.
Kuakonda is located around 450 kms from Raipur.
While security forces were cordoning off Ukalmeta-Ezalmeta hills near Kankipara, a group of cadres opened indiscriminate firing which was retaliated by the personnel.
However, Maoists soon fled taking cover of dense forests, he said.
"During search, a Naxal, identified as Kartam Pandu, an active member of military platoon number 24 of Maoists, was found injured at the spot," the SP said, adding the injured ultra has been admitted to the district hospital and placed under arrest.
Later, security forces carried out combing in forests and nabbed seven suspects who admitted to their involvement in the Mailwada incident, he said.
Those held were identified as Aaytu Podiyami (35), Hunga Kartam (30), Raju Madvi (38), Hunga Podiyami (30), Katti (40), Hunga Sori (35) and Kosa Podiyami (28), all residents of Kankipara village.
They revealed that the Mailwada attack was planned on the direction of Central Committee and Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of Maoist, military-command-in-chief Darbha division Dewa Barse along with some senior leaders, the SP said.
Pandu was entrusted to keep an eye on the movement of paramilitary forces.
Naxals were conducting recce of the route from three days before the day of the incident, the SP said quoting their statement.
After committing the crime, all the cadres took a hide in Kankipara forests, he added.