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As many as 17 left-wing Naxalite rebels have been arrested in two Indian states of Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, police said Tuesday, reports BSS/XINHUA.
The arrests took place in the past 48 hours. “While 16 rebels were nabbed by security forces in the central state of Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, one Naxalite commander was arrested in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district,” a police official said. Of the 16 held in Chhattisgarh, five rebels were wanted for a deadly attack on para-military Central Indian Security Force last year, he added.
“The Naxalite commander picked up from Andhra Pradesh has been identified as Podium Muda. Some 20 gelatine sticks and detonators were seized from him. All the rebels are being interrogated,” the official said.
Naxalites are currently active in at least seven Indian states, including
Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. The Naxalite insurgency began in the eastern state of West Bengal in late 1960s. Though major offensives by security forces in recent years have pushed the rebels back to their forest strongholds and the levels of violence have fallen.