A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel who has been missing since Saturday’s ambush in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur has been taken hostage by the Maoists who carried out the attack, reports said.
The constable hailing from Jammu and identified as Rakeshwar Singh Manhas is alive but with the Maoist cadres, sources in the security establishment have informed.
According to the source, the Maoist leadership sent a message to the force saying that Manhas is “alive” and will not be harmed. The message further said that he will “subsequently be released”.
“One personnel who could not be traced is a hostage of the Maoists. We received the information a while ago and we have been assured that he will be kept safely. The force will ensure that he is released safely and brought back,” a source said.
Close to 2,000 personnel belonging to the Special Task Force (STF), District Reserve Guard (DRG), District Force of the Chhattisgarh Police, the CRPF and its elite CoBRA unit, had started a joint operation on 2 April after receiving intelligence inputs about Maoists in Silger and Bodaguda area. The inputs specifically noted the presence of Hidma, the commander of the lethal Battalion 1 of the Maoists, in the area.