Representative pic
Representative pic

Balaghat: Around 100 naxals from Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra have sneaked into Madhya Pradesh over the past few months to expand their base, prompting the state government to seek deployment of six companies of paramilitary forces in the rebel-hit areas, a police official said.

These security forces are likely to be deployed soon in MP's Balaghat and tribal-dominated Mandla districts, which the Naxals have entered, he said. "As per the information provided to us by our sources, around 100 rebels from Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra have entered Madhya Pradesh over the past few months to expand their base in the region," the official said.

Six dalams (groups) of Naxals are operating in Balaghat and Mandla districts. Of these, Khatia Mocha Dalam in Mandla came up last year, he said, adding that Mandla and Balaghat share a long border.

Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra, during his visit to Balaghat last month, had told reporters that six companies of paramilitary forces are going to be sent to Balaghat and Mandla to tackle the Naxal menace. The Madhya Pradesh police's anti-Naxal wing Hawk Force is already deployed in Balaghat. Besides, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) battalion is also stationed there, the official said.

Police said that Naxals have sneaked into MP from the neighbouring states can be gauged from the fact that three women Maoists- two from Chhattisgarh and one from Maharashtra-were killed in three separate encounters with police in Balaghat in November and December 2020.

A rebel who had entered Balaghat from Chhattisgarh had also been captured in September last year, they added. Sharda (25), who hailed from Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh, carried an overall bounty of Rs 8 lakh - Rs 3 lakh of MP and Rs 5 lakh of Chhattisgarh police- on her head.

She was killed on November 6, police said. Likewise, Savitri Alias Ayathe (24), who hailed from Gangloor in Chhattisgarh's Bastar region, and Shobha Gowde (30) from Maharashtra's Gadchiroli, were killed in police encounters in Balaghat on December 1112. Both of them carried rewards of Rs 14 lakh each on their heads, they said. Besides, Balaghat police had captured dreaded Naxal Badal Singh Markam of Chhattisgarh in September last year after he entered MP through Balaghat, which shares border with Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, they said.

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