Naxals claim drones dropped bombs; police rubbish allegation

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Raipur, Apr 21 (PTI) Naxals on Wednesday alleged that the Central and state security forces in a joint operation dropped bombs near two villages in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, a claim described as baseless by the police.

Naxal outfit Dandkaranya special zonal committee in In a statement claimed the 'airstrike' took place on April 19 and was aimed at boosting the morale of the security forces who lost 22 personnel in an encounter with the Maoists in the state earlier this month.

'We averted a big danger by changing location just before the strike,' the statement said.

The Maoists alleged the drone attack targeted them and shared some images of the purported attack in support of their claim.

Inspector-General of Police Bastar Range Sundarraj P dismissed the claims as baseless.

'The allegations being levelled by Maoists regarding airstrike/drone attack are baseless and an outcome of fear and confusion in the rank and file of Maoist cadres,' the senior police official said.

'Security forces in Bastar operate within the legal framework with a single objective of protecting the life and property of the native population of the region. It is the CPI 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. Even today in Narayanpur one ITBP officer was seriously injured and one cow got killed in an IED explosion triggered by the Maoists,' he said.

Maoists, who are responsible for killing thousands of innocent villagers including women and children don't have any moral authority to level such baseless allegation against the security forces, he said.

'It is high time the Maoists restrain from unleashing cruelty against innocent tribals of Bastar and let the native population lead a peaceful life,' Sundarraj said. PTI VT VT VT