By Tanmay Sakalley
Bijapur (Chhattisgarh) [India], April 7 (ANI): The banned Communist Party of India (Maoists ) released a statement on Wednesday saying that the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commando who had gone missing in the April 3 encounter in Chhattisgarh was in their custody.
The organization further said that the state government would announce a mediator and only then they would release the CRPF commando to the mediator.
The Chhattisgarh police has confirmed that the "letter is genuine."
Speaking to ANI, Bastar Inspector General (IG) P Sunderraj said, "In reference to the Naxal Attack that took place on April 3, the jawan of CoBRA namely Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, was abducted by Naxals and is in their captivity now. The search operations are underway."
The Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) is a unit of the CRPF.
"Meanwhile, we have received a letter from the Maoists and have a brief idea about him. We have confirmed the authentication of the letter. We are closely looking into the matter," Sunderraj said.
The 2-page statement in Telugu signed by "Vikalp" on behalf of Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of the Maoists said 2,000 policemen had attacked them and that four People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) cadres were killed in the encounter at Tarrem on April 3.
It added that they had also taken away 14 weapons, over 2,000 rounds of ammunition, and other items belonging to the security personnel.
Also, ANI spoke to a local journalist, Ganesh Mishra. He said, "Recently, Rakeshwar Singh Manhas's daughter released a video requesting the Maoists to hand over her father safely to the authorities. In another communication by the Maoists, they have assured that they will release a video message of the jawan soon."
"Also, if the state government cooperates (as per the Maoists), they will release the jawan within two days", he added.
Int eh statement by the CPI (Maoist), the killed Naxal cadres were identified as Odi Sanni, Padam Lakhma, Kowasi Badru and Nupa Suresh, all residents of South Bastar. Sanni's body was recovered by security forces on April 3. They said that could not secure the body of Sunny. Final rites of the remaining three were held with revolutionary traditions," they stated. The statement said that Madvi Sukkal, another villager, was also killed by police before the encounter.
The letter said that PM Modi led government had been trying to eradicate the Maoists from 2020. The letter said that a plan for massive attacks was being drawn up under the leadership of Home Minister Amit Shah. They said the Maoists were ready for talks and accused the government of not being sincere.
"Planned to eradicate PLGA. The police were not the victims of the war brought by the ruling class. The Maoists said in their letter that they would have to retaliate to protect the people, resources and public property," read the letter.
At least 22 security personnel lost their lives while 31 sustained injuries in an encounter that broke out between security forces and Naxals along the Sukma-Bijapur border on Saturday after a party of jawans was ambushed by Naxals near Jonnaguda village.
Director-General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Kuldeep Singh on Sunday said that there was absolutely no intelligence or operational failure in the operation.
Several Union Ministers like Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh condoled the attack and asked the authorities to take action on the same. (ANI)