Massacre not without losses for Maoists, eight felled by CRPF

Jagdalpur: The massacre of 76 security personnel by Maoists in a dense forest of Dantewada on Tuesday did not come without losses for the outfit whose eight guerrillas were gunned down in the fightback by the CRPF.

In a statement, the 'Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee' of the banned organisation, while patting its back for the "valour" shown by People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PGLA), has admitted to have lost eight of its cadres in the gunfight.

According to the release signed by Ramanna, member of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of the CPI (Maoist) issued yesterday, the deceased PGLA cadres are Rukmati, Bagal, Vizaal, Ingaal, Raju, Mangu, Ramal and Ratan.

Amid perception that about 1000 Maoist rebels were involved in the ambush between Tadimetla and Mukram villages in Dantewada, the release claimed that only 300 of its fighters took part in the attack.

In all 75 sophisticated weapons, including 21 AK-47 rifles, 38 Insas, seven SLRs, six Light Machine Guns, one stengun and one 2-inch mortar were looted by the guerrillas, who shot dead 75 CRPF men and a state police personnel in the operation that lasted about three hours on April 6.

The release claimed that the ambush was planned and executed to protest 'Operation Green Hunt', a multi-state operation simultaneously launched in all naxalite-hit states.

The Maoist release accused the Centre of "lying" about not involving the defence forces in the fight against them, saying the army was already imparting training to police and para-military forces in the state in jungle warfare.

Strangely, the organisation expressed its sympathy for the families of the slain security personnel.

"We convey our sympathies to the families of the fallen security men and appeal to them to understand the circumstances in which we had to take this step. We appeal to the jawans and lower-rung officers of paramilitary forces and the police not to fight the war against people....don't be brutal," it said.

RK Vij, an IG in Chhattisgarh, had yesterday said police suspected some naxals too were killed in retaliatory fire by the beleaguered CRPF contingent after blood stains were sighted at the place from where the rebels fired at them.