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Security Forces Achieve Major Success In Bastar; 79 Naxalites Killed This Year

Security sources indicate that preparations are in progress under 'Operation Prahar' to target prominent Naxalite leaders who manipulate innocent youth and encourage them to participate in Naxal activities.

Edited By : simran rajpal | Updated: Apr 17, 2024 15:30 IST
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Security forces conducted a major operation against Naxalites in Chhattisgarh before the Lok Sabha elections, resulting in the killing of 29 Naxalites, including Naxalite commander Shankar Rao, in an encounter in Kanker on Tuesday. Since the start of 2024, security forces have killed 79 Naxalites in various encounters in the Bastar region, known as a Maoist stronghold.

In recent times, security forces have implemented a revised strategy against Naxalites, conducting pinpoint operations under the new ‘Operation Prahar’. Over the past few days, security forces have carried out two significant operations, resulting in the killing of 42 Naxalites within just 15 days. Sources informed that Naxalites are now on the defensive, with security forces gaining the advantage. Consequently, security forces have compiled a hit list targeting top Naxalite commanders, and operations against them are planned for the near future.

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According to security sources preparations are underway under ‘Operation Prahar’ to target prominent Naxalite leaders who manipulate innocent youth and incite them to join Naxal activities. The security forces’ top 17 list includes the most prominent Naxalite commander of PLGA-1, Mandvi Hidma, who recent intelligence suggests may be capable of launching attacks against security forces while hiding in the forests of Sukma.

Sources indicate that aside from Hidma, several other Naxalite leaders are also on the security forces’ list. Muppala Lakmana Rao has been singled out as a top target by security forces. Intelligence suggests that this Naxalite commander is currently active in the Maad area of Chhattisgarh. Additionally, Prashant Bose, who operates in the forests of Saranda near Jharkhand, is currently evading capture within dense forest areas. According to security department sources, these Naxalite leaders will either surrender soon or face elimination under ‘Operation Prahar’.

The security forces have identified the following top 17 Naxalite leaders as their primary targets:

1. Muppala Lakmana Rao – Operating in the Maad area of Chhattisgarh.
2. Nambla Keshav Rao – Active in the Maad area of Chhattisgarh.
3. Mallaraji Reddy – Conducting operations on the borders of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha.
4. Mallajula Venugopal – Engaged in activities in the forests of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.
5. Misir Besra – Involved in Naxalite activities in Jharkhand and currently in hiding.
6. Chandri Yadav – Operating against security forces in Jharkhand, currently hiding in Chhattisgarh forests.
7. Theepani Thirupati – Conducting Naxalite activities in Chhattisgarh.
8. Akki Raj, Hargopal – A dangerous commander active on the Andhra Pradesh and Orissa border.
9. Kadarat Satyanarayana Reddy – Active on the Chhattisgarh border.
10. Paluri Prasad Rao – A dangerous commander operating in Chhattisgarh and Telangana.
11. Modem Balakrishna – Active in Orissa.
12. Ramanna – Targeting security forces in Chhattisgarh.
13. Sudhakar – A Naxalite commander in Jharkhand.
14. Parvez – Identified as a dangerous Naxalite commander.
15. Asim Mandal – Operating in Jharkhand and West Bengal.
16. Hari Bhushan – Increasing Naxalite violence in Chhattisgarh.
17. Hidma – A dangerous PLGA1 commander in Chhattisgarh, considered the most dangerous among the top 17 Naxalites.

What is Hidma?

Since the 1990s, Hidma has embraced the path of Naxalite violence, resulting in the deaths of numerous innocent individuals. He leads the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) Battalion-1 of the Maoists and continues to orchestrate deadly attacks. Over the past few years, Hidma’s name has been prominently linked to major Naxalite attacks in the Dandakaranya area of Chhattisgarh, making him a prime target wanted by the NIA and other agencies, with a reward of Rs 25 lakh on his head.

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First published on: Apr 17, 2024 03:30 PM IST

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