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    Naxals claim missing CoBRA commando in their captivity

    Naxals claim missing CoBRA commando in their captivity

    Naxals claim missing CoBRA commando in their captivity
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    Constable Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, of the 210th battalion of CoBRA, went missing after the fierce gunfight on Saturday.

    Days after an ambush in Chhattisgarh's Bastar region wherein 22 troopers were killed and 31 injured, Naxals have claimed that a missing CoBRA commando is in their captivity. Police are contacting local villagers to trace the missing CoBRA commando, a senior official had said. Police informers are activated in the region to gather information about the missing jawan, he added.
    According to a News18 report, Naxals have asked the state government to appoint interlocutors for his safe release. "As many as 2,000 police personnel had reached near Jiragudem village to execute a major attack (on Saturday). To thwart them, PLGA (Peoples’ 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 reportedly written by Maoists and being circulated on social media.
    A journalist has claimed to have received calls about the same. "I received two calls from Naxals that one jawan is in their custody. They said the jawan received a bullet injury and was given medical treatment. He'll be released in two days. They said a video and photo of jawan to be released soon," said Ganesh Mishra, a journalist from Bijapur, ANI reported.
    Constable Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, of the 210th battalion of CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), an elite unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), went missing on Saturday after the gunfight along the border of Sukma and Bijapur districts. Twenty-two security personnel were killed and 31 others were injured in the fierce gun battle.
    "As of now, we cannot confirm that the missing jawan is in the captivity of Naxals as they haven't issued any statement or photographs in this connection. We are trying to trace him through all possible channels," Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P had said.
    Another senior police official posted in Bastar said that there is a strong possibility of the jawan being in the captivity of Naxals, because the forces cordoned off the entire encounter site and area around it in the last two days, but could not find him.
    Out of the 22 fatalities, the CRPF lost eight men, including seven CoBRA commandos and a jawan from its Bastariya battalion, while eight of the other deceased were from the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and six from the Special Task Force (STF). Union Home Minister Amit Shah had on Monday visited Jagdalpur and Bijapur to review the situation and said the government will intensify its ongoing fight against the Naxal menace.
    With inputs from PTI
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