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Forces stumble upon Naxals' tunnel in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur (WATCH)

A joint operation by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Dantewada’s District Reserve Guard (DRG) in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district uncovered a strategically significant tunnel constructed by Naxals.

Security forces stumble upon Naxals' tunnel in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur
First Published Feb 1, 2024, 7:23 AM IST

In a significant development, a joint team comprising the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Dantewada’s District Reserve Guard (DRG) has unearthed a tunnel constructed by Naxals as part of their guerrilla warfare tactics in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district. The discovery, spanning 130 meters in length and six feet in depth, comes just hours before an encounter with Maoists claimed the lives of three security personnel in the Bastar region on Tuesday, according to officials. The tunnel's strategic importance was amplified as it was found following prior intelligence about Naxals working on such structures.

Situated in Tadopot village, approximately two and a half kilometres ahead of Bhairamgarh and the Indravati River, the tunnel is nearly 35 kilometres from the Dantewada district headquarters. Authorities state that it was a critical find as the security forces had received information about the presence of 25 to 30 armed Maoists, including the commander of the Indravati area committee, Mallesh.

Gaurav Rai, Superintendent of Police, Dantewada, explained that the joint CRPF and DRG operation began on Wednesday morning, targeting the Maoist presence across the Indravati River. Despite the Naxals fleeing upon the forces' arrival, the security personnel discovered and destroyed three camps during their return.

During the return journey at around 11 am on Tuesday, the Naxals ambushed the security forces with Barrel Grenade Launcher (BGL) and automatic weapons, including AK47s, INSAS rifles, and SLR guns. While the forces retaliated, the Maoists took advantage of the forest cover and escaped.

In a surprising turn of events, the DRG men noticed a peculiar patch on the jungle floor during their return to the base. Suspecting something concealed beneath, they began digging and uncovered a makeshift trapdoor leading to the tunnel. Despite entering the tunnel with caution, the security forces found it empty.

Videos released by the police depict jawans navigating through sections of the tunnel, revealing a structure roomy enough for a squad to move in single file, equipped with niches for sunlight and ventilation. The tunnel's strategic location, equidistant from Dantewada and Bijapur, and its proximity to the Bhairamgarh police station (10km), suggests a tactical advantage for Maoists in traversing the Indravati River.

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