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CPI (Maoists) claims CRPF soldier is in their captivity

The banned CPI (Maoist) has claimed that CoBRA commando Rakeshwar Singh Manhas is in captivity of ultras. Rakeshwar Singh Manhas went missing after the April 3 ambush in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region. The CPI has demanded from the state government to appoint interlocutors for his release.  

Police are verifying the authenticity of the statement, purportedly issued by the outlaws. The Maoists also admitted that four of their cadres were also killed in the April 3 encounter which took the lives of 22 security personnel. 

Constable Rakeshwar Singh Manhas of the 210th CoBRA battalion, a prestigious unit of the CRPF, had gone missing after the gunfight along the border of Sukma and Bijapur districts last Saturday.  

“As many as 2,000 police personnel had reached near Jiragudem village to execute a major attack (on Saturday). To thwart them, PLGA (People’s Liberation Guerilla Army) retaliated during which 24 security personnel were killed and 31 others injured. We have caught a policeman (CoBRA commando) at the spot while others escaped,” said a statement purportedly written by Maoists and being circulated on social media on Tuesday. 

The two-page statement was issued in the name of Vikalp, spokesperson of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC)of Maoists, which had been instrumental in executing several deadly attacks in south Bastar, including the Jhiram valley attack in Bastar district on May 25, 2013, in which top Congress leaders of Chhattisgarh unit were killed. 

The ultras also claimed to have seized 14 weapons, 2,000 cartridges, and other materials from the encounter site. The pictures issued with the purported statement showed the looted arms and ammunition. According to the police, 10 weapons, including 7 AK-47 rifles, 2 SLR rifles, and 1 LMG, of the security personnel went missing after the attack. 

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