Bloody Bastar: Violence claims 19 in Chhattisgarh

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Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh, Feb 18: Six Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) constables were martyred and 13 naxals killed in separate encounters in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district today. 'Ten Maoists' bodies have been found. This is the heaviest rebel toll over the past few months.

Six CRPF constables were martyred in an ultra ambush -- on a patrol comprising CRPF, district police and special police officers at Tedkal -- at about 1100 hrs. Retaliatory action slew three extremists whose bodies were seized,'' said Inspector-General (Bastar Range) R K Vij. A preliminary report had given the time of encounter as about 1300 hrs. A team from Bhairamgarh Police Station was rushing to the spot when it had an encounter with militants near Etakmita village resulting in ten insurgent fatalities, including three women. Seven corpses and three guns were seized.

The CRPF fatalities were identified as constables Sarvjeet Singh, Amraram, Suresh Kumar, Lakhmindar Singh, Sukhminder Singh and L N Reddy.

Naxals stepped up violence in tribal Bastar district since June 2005 after locals launched an anti-Maoist movement 'Salwa Judum' to create awareness among people against the rebels.

As the movement spread from village to village, the ultras retaliated by unleashing an orgy of violence killing more than 800 people including about 250 security personnel over the past three years.

The hostilities forced more than 50,000 tribals to desert their villages and take refuge in relief camps set up by the state government in Bastar.

UNI

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