Maoists say bombed by drone in Chhattisgarh, police deny

We were able to change location minutes before the attack took place, says banned group

The Maoists claimed in a statement on Wednesday that security forces had on April 19 dropped 12 bombs from a drone near a village in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district.

The Chhattisgarh police said the “allegation being levelled by Maoists regarding air strike/drone attack are totally baseless and it’s an outcome of fear and confusion in the rank and file of Maoist cadres”.

A statement signed by ‘Vikalp’, spokesperson of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of the Maoists. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A statement signed by ‘Vikalp’, spokesperson of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of the Maoists, said on April 19, the drone dropped “12 bombs” between Bottalanka and Palagudem villages in Pamed area of Bijapur in which some plants and trees were destroyed and a few animals were injured.

The Maoists also shared a photograph of the affected area and the ‘bombs’. The statement said they were able to change their location minutes before the attack took place. They claimed that this was the first time that a drone has been used to aerially bomb areas adding the attack is a retaliation of the April 3 encounter at Tarrem on the Sukma-Bijapur border where 22 security personnel were killed by the banned group.

Chhattisgarh IGP P. Sundarraj said, “The security forces in Bastar operate within the legal framework with a single objective of protecting life and property of the native population of the region. It is the Maoist cadres who have taken away the lives of thousands of innocent civilians by using IEDs and explosive materials. They haven’t even spared children, women and animals also during their desperate attempts to harm the security forces by using IEDs.”

He said on Wednesday an Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) officer was seriously injured in Narayanpur and one cow got killed in an IED explosion triggered by the Maoists.

“The Maoists do not have any moral authority to blame the security forces to level such baseless allegation against the security forces. It is high time that they stop unleashing cruelty against innocent tribals of Bastar and let the native population lead a peaceful life,” he said.

As many as 14 of the 27 districts in Chhattisgarh are affected by the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) violence.

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