Sixteen Naxals, five of them suspected to be involved in a deadly attack on a CRPF team last year, were arrested from Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.
Of the 16, two were women.
The arrests were made yesterday from a hill near Minpa village under Chintagufa police station limits by a joint team of Special Task Force (STF), District Reserve Guard (DRG) and district police.
In view of next month's Assembly polls, the security forces have intensified the patrolling in the interior forests of Naxal-hit districts to apprehend the lower-rung cadres, who are instrumental in planting explosives to target the police personnel, a senior police official said.
Acting on an information about the presence of Naxals, the joint team launched an operation from the Burkapal camp towards Minpa and Tadmetla, located around 500km from Raipur, and apprehended the ultras, the police official said.
All the arrested cadres were active as members of either militia groups or the Dandakaranya Adivasi Kisan Majdoor Sangthan (DAKMS), a front organization of Maoists, he said.
Five of the arrested, identified as Sodhi Ganga, Madvi Bhima, Banjam Nanda, Madvi Bhima, and Muchaki Mukka, were allegedly involved in a deadly attack on CRPF personnel at Burkapal in Sukma district in April last year.
25 CRPF personnel were killed in the attack.
Others were allegedly involved in incidents of attacks on police teams and planting improvised explosive devices to target security forces.
Chhattisgarh, which has a 90-member Assembly, will go to the polls in two phases, on November 12 and 20.
In the first phase, 18 seats in the southern parts of the state, affected by left-wing extremism, will go to the polls, while in the second phase, voting will be held in 72 seats in the northern parts of the state.
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