Two minors among three Naxals held in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district after brief exchange of fire
All the three were allegedly tasked with arranging commodities of daily use for senior cadres, and spreading Maoist propaganda, the police said
Raipur: Three Naxals, including two minors, were held after an exchange of fire between security forces and Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district, police said on Sunday.
A 15-year-old girl was among the two minors who were taken into custody, they said.
The face-off took place on Saturday evening in a forest near Tetam village under Katekalyan police station limits when a joint team of security forces was out on an anti-Naxal operation, Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava told PTI.
A joint squad of the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and local police launched the operation based on a specific input that senior Naxals had convened a meeting of villagers from Tetam, Tela, Jiakorta and other villages in the area in a bid to pressurise them to observe the Martyrs week', he said.
Naxals are observing the 'Martyrs' week' from 28 July to 3 August in the memory of their slain leaders, he said.
When the patrolling team was near Tetam, located around 400 km from the capital Raipur, Naxals triggered IED (improvised explosive devise) blasts and opened fire on security forces that led to the gun battle, he said.
On finding that the security personnel were zeroing-in on them, the rebels escaped into the dense forest, he said.
Three Naxals, including a 15-year-old girl and a boy aged 16, were detained from the spot.
Later, one of them, identified as Hidma Madvi (23), who was active as a jan-militia member, was arrested, he said, adding detonators, Maoist banners, fire crackers, medicines and items of daily use were also seized from the spot.
The detained girl was part of the Chetna Natya Mandli (cultural wing of Maoists), while the boy was active as a militia member, he said.
"All the three were allegedly tasked with arranging commodities of daily use for senior cadres, spreading Maoist propaganda, damaging roads and conducting reconnaissance on police," Pallava said.
The two minors were sent to a juvenile home, he added.
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