On Wednesday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a chargesheet against 23 members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) who were allegedly part of a group of 300-400 armed men who ambushed security personnel near the village of Tekalgudiyam in Bijapur on April 3, 2021, killing 22 of them.
The 22 personnel were a part of a huge anti-Maoist operation in Bijapur that involved over a thousand security personnel divided into ten squads.
Then, a wounded soldier told The Indian Express, “We were returning when we were attacked.” We were unaware when the Naxals surrounded us on all sides. They possessed advanced arms.” The attack injured at least 35 security personnel, and the Maoists fled with their weapons and ammo.
The case was initially recorded at the Tarrem police station in the Bijapur district and was then re-registered on June 5 by the NIA.
The investigation agency has charged the 23 accused with, among other offences, murder, attempted murder, criminal conspiracy, dacoity, and terrorist acts under pertinent sections of the Indian Penal Code, Indian Arms Act, Explosive Substances Act, 1908, and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The accused are from Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. The chargesheet was filed with the NIA special court in Chhattisgarh’s Jagdalpur.
An officer with the NIA stated, “Investigations indicated that the accused, who are members of the CPI (Maoist), plotted to commit terrorist actions. Their armed cadres opened fire with BGLs and automatic weapons on the combined security forces of the CRPF, CoBRA, DRG, and state police. They also kidnapped Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, a CoBRA soldier, and stole his weapon.”