A day after the tragic encounter in Chhattisgarh's Bastar region, where three security personnel lost their lives battling Maoists, a joint operation involving the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Dantewada's District Reserve Guard (DRG) uncovered a tunnel constructed by the Naxals for guerrilla warfare tactics in Bijapur, as reported by The Indian Express.
The tunnel, measuring 130 metres in length and six feet in depth, is considered a crucial discovery in the ongoing efforts against insurgency.
While prior intelligence had hinted at the existence of such a tunnel, it was only now that security forces stumbled upon it.
It is located in Tadopot village, approximately 2.5 kilometres ahead of Bhairamgarh and the Indravati River in the Bijapur district. The tunnel was discovered nearly 35 km from the Dantewada district headquarters.
The Superintendent of Police, Dantewada, Gaurav Rai, explained that the joint CRPF and DRG team had received information about the presence of 25 to 30 armed Maoists, including the commander of the Indravati area committee, Mallesh.
Despite the Naxals having fled the area upon the forces' arrival, the personnel, during their return, encountered gunfire from the insurgents wielding barrel grenade launchers and various automatic weapons like AK47, INSAS rifles, and SLR guns.
Although the security forces retaliated, the Naxals managed to escape under the cover of the forest.
After the skirmish, officials reported the recovery of spikes and a pressure cooker bomb resembling an improvised explosive device.
Furthermore, at some distance, the forces discovered the tunnel.
During the operation, they also dismantled monuments erected in memory of Naxals previously defeated by the security forces.
This incident follows the unfortunate event on Tuesday (30 January) when three CRPF personnel, including two from the specialised Commando Battalion for Resolute Action, lost their lives in an encounter with Maoists on the Sukma-Bijapur border.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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