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Gunfight with Maoists ends, cops safe
Raipur, Aug 4 (IANS):
Published on 5 Aug. 2010 1:14 AM IST
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Security forces fought a long-drawn gun battle with heavily armed Maoists in a forest in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada area that ended Wednesday evening, a top police official said, adding that the 70 policemen earlier reported missing were found to be safe.
"Our courageous jawans displayed bravery in the encounter that began around 11 a.m. and stretched till evening. Now the gun fight is over and all policemen are safe... they are on their way back but returning very slowly as there is a possibility of landmines or ambushes in their forested way after sunset," Director General of Police Vishwa Ranjan told IANS.
The gunfight began when Maoists attacked a search team of the state police in a thickly forested area of Gumiapal, close to Kirandul, about 420 km south of capital Raipur, an iron ore mining facility of India's top iron ore producer NMDC Ltd.
A strong contingent of the District Force and Koya Commando comprising special police officers (SPOs) had gone into the forest around 11 a.m. after a tip-off about the presence of a unit headed by Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) commander Ganesh Uike, state police spokesperson Rajesh Mishra told reporters.
"Our forces hit five rebels with bullets in the initial spell of the battle and the rebels climbed up to a hilltop to launch a counter-attack but they (Maoists) never managed to succeed," said Ranjan.
Ranjan, who was monitoring the gunfight from the police headquarters here, said some 100 policemen came under attack from the Maoists and a 75-member reinforcement sent later also engaged the rebels.
Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) T.J. Longkumer said: "It is really a major relief... Maoists were never allowed during the six-hour battle to dominate us. It is good to know that all our jawans are safe."
Special CRPF team in Naxal-hit areas
After training them for eight months in intensive intelligence gathering, CRPF has begun deploying its specially-trained personnel in Naxal-hit areas and other theatres of operation to gather information at the grass root level.
Official sources said the trained batches of the CRPF officers and jawans have been deputed in various theatres of conflict including in Maoist-affected areas.
The six battalions of the specialised anti-Naxal force of the CRPF - Special Action Force - already have an in-built intelligence unit comprising about 30-40 men, which are functioning in various states including West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand.
The government had on September 1, 2009 sanctioned 1,248 posts for the intelligence wing of the CRPF.
The men have been trained by various Central security agencies and work in close coordination with the state police and other intelligence organisations.
“The men go through a rigorous training process where they are taught all traditional and modern intelligence gathering mechanism,” a source said.
CRPF sources say that some of the recent achievements against the Naxals have been a result of precise intelligence regarding the Maoist camps and movements.
The intelligence wing is been established on the lines of the G-Branch of the BSF.
A need for a separate intelligence wing was felt after the force got involved in direct combat with extremists and Naxals in various part of the country.

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