Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Tense standoff: Police and Naxalites in close proximity in Saranda Forest, encounter averted

Kiriburu: In a tense situation on the night of November 17-18, a potentially explosive confrontation between police and Naxalites was narrowly avoided in the forest near Holonguli village, under the jurisdiction of Chhotanagra police station in Saranda.

Rural sources reveal that police and CRPF personnel, in search of Naxalites, had reached the forest on the night of November 17, taking refuge just a kilometer away from a 20-25 member Naxalite squad on the other side of the hill. The situation was precarious, and had the police advanced a little further, a fierce encounter might have ensued, or the Naxalites might have retreated further into the hills. On the following Saturday, Naxalites were reportedly still present on the same hill, engaged in activities like cooking meat.

Simultaneously, a substantial deployment of CRPF and Jharkhand Police officers and soldiers occurred in Chhotanagara on the morning of November 18, with the objective of flushing out Naxalites from the Saranda forest. These forces are slated for operations against Naxalites in various regions of the Saranda forest.

Despite recent continuous operations against Naxalites in Saranda, there has been a delicate situation where the police and Naxalites came extremely close but avoided a direct encounter. On November 17, a crucial meeting was held at the CRPF camp in Kiriburu, attended by top officials such as DIG Ajay Linda and DIG Inderjit Mahatha. Following the meeting, a substantial number of soldiers were deployed in Saranda forest on Saturday. Notably, the Naxalites seem to be facing isolation as they are not receiving support from the local villagers.

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