On Saturday, Chhattisgarh witnessed one of the deadliest Naxal attacks in recent times when 22 jawans were killed and 31 were injured in a deadly four-hour red-terror encounter along the border between Bijapur and Sukma districts. On the other hand, the Bastar Range IG had affirmed that 12 Maoists were killed in the encounter, as per their technical input.
During this incident, the rebels had kidnapped a commando named Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, who was kept hostage by the Maoists. After more than 100 hours in captivity, on Thursday, the state government announced that the rebels had released the commando.
Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, a commando of the 210th battalion of CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), an elite unit of the CRPF, had gone missing after the fierce gunfight with the Maoists. Earlier, the Chhattisgarh Police had said there have been ‘positive developments’ in their efforts to secure the release of Manhas.
The incident took place when some 2,000 security personnel were on the hunt for a Maoist rebel leader in the Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh state on Saturday. During the encounter, the rebels looted weapons, ammunition, uniforms, and shoes from the security forces who were killed.
On Tuesday, the outlawed CPI (Maoist) issued a statement saying its cadres had abducted Manhas from the site of the ambush and demanded that the Chhattisgarh government appoint interlocutors to ensure his safe release.
The encounter was the worst for Indian security forces battling the far-left guerillas since 2017 when 25 police commandos were killed in an attack.