In a significant achievement, commandos of the Gadchiroli Police bust an illegal arms manufacturing factory after multiple gun-battles with Maoists in the deep forests of Aheri, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said here on Friday.
A 70-strong force of commandos of the elite C-60 force battled the defensive Maoists’ gunfire on three occasions as they charged into “the remote and virtually inaccessible core areas” of the rebels for over 48 hours before notching the stunning success, he said.
The massive operation was carried out under the police’s Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign (TCOC) led by Gadchiroli Superintendent of Police Ankit Goyal, to weed out the strongholds of the rebels in this Maoist-infested district.
“One commando has been injured in a bullet fired in his leg by the Maoists and he was rushed in a helicopter to the headquarters. His condition is stable,” Deshmukh said.
The minister congratulated the Gadchiroli Police and commandos for their valour and dedication that resulted in this massive victory over the Maoist menace afflicting the state’s eastern regions.
Recounting the series of events, Gadchiroli SP Goyal said that on Thursday morning, a C-60 patrol team came across some Maoists lurking in the forests near Murumbhushi village in Bhamragad sub-district on the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh.
“They opened fire at the C-60 commandos, who retaliated with equal force and the Maoists fled away into the jungles,” Goyal told the media this evening.
A search operation of the surroundings revealed a Maoist camp with their personal and other belonging, plus a full-fledged factory manufacturing arms and ammunition run on the sly in the jungles, he added.
The C-60 commandos found several large machinery and equipment used to make different types of arms and ammunition which was destroyed.
As the team was heading back after its success, it was again ambushed by Maoists, but prompt retaliation resulted in the rebels retreating back to their jungle hideouts.
On Friday, around dawn, a second C-60 patrol was diverted to the region to help the first team when they encountered a fresh round of attack by the Maoists.
“We retaliated and only one commando was injured in the gun-battle…He was lifted by a helicopter to the headquarters for treatment and his condition is now stable,” assured Goyal.
While the operation of busting the illicit arms manufacturing unit has been completed, combing operations continue and it is not known if there were any casualties among the Maoists in the cross-firing.