Woman among two arrested in 2019 Chhattisgarh encounter case: NIA

New Delhi, Jun 20 (PTI) Two persons, including a woman member of the proscribed CPI (Maoist), were arrested in connection with the 2019 attack on security forces near the Tiriya village in Chhattisgarh that had left six Naxals and one civilian dead, the National Investigation Agency said on Tuesday.

B Ch Padma alias “Modem” alias “Lalita” — a woman member of the CPI (Maoist) — and courier Dubasi Devender were picked up on Sunday after extensive investigations, taking the number of arrests in the case to four, the federal agency said.

Padma was previously active as a divisional committee member of the CPI (Maoist) and was, until recently, acting as a coordinator between front organisations and the proscribed outfit and spreading its ideology.

Devender, also closely associated with CPI (Maoist) cadres operating in the core area, was acting as a courier for the CPI (Maoist), and was secretly transporting their communications (both paper-based and digital) and facilitating their anti-national activities, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said.

It said investigations had revealed that both the arrested accused were closely involved with the top leadership of the CPI (Maoist) in furthering their anti-national activities.

The NIA took over the case in 2021, along with several others related to Maoist conspiracies to carry out acts of terror and violence in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

The agency had earlier recovered several incriminating materials related to the activities of CPI (Maoist) cadres during searches conducted at the premises of the two accused.

The encounter took place in July 2019 when a joint team of the District Reserve Guard, Special Task Force and the Central Reserve Police Force travelled to the forest area near Tiriya in the Nagarnar police station area of Jagdalpur district in Chhattisgarh.

They went there after receiving input that a group of Maoist cadres had gathered with the intention to perpetrate a big incident on July 28, which is observed as “Shaheed Diwas”, the NIA said.

Following the encounter, the security forces recovered arms and ammunition as well as several incriminating handwritten documents and literature from the site.

The case was initially registered on July 28, 2019, under various sections of the Arms Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. It was re-registered by the NIA on March 18, 2021.