The banned Communist Party of India (Maoists) on Tuesday, April 6, said that the missing Cobra Battalion jawan was in its captivity and asked the state government to appoint mediators for the soldier's safe release.
At least 22 security personnel were killed in action in Chhattisgarh's Bastar region as maoists ambushed the forces after possibly luring them to an area near the Bijapur-Sukma border, reported News18.
Stating that they also lost at least five of their members in the Bijapur gunbattle, the Maoists said, "they were compelled to retaliate to save their land, pride and lives".
The Chhattisgarh police has claimed that the number of deaths on Maoists' side is much higher.
The statement came a day after Union Home minister Amit Shah visited Chhattisgarh in the aftermath of the deadly encounter and promised to strengthen the fight against the Maoists.
The home minister said that those giving up arms are welcome for talks but if they have arms in hands, "we can't help".
In response to Shah's comments, the maoists said they said they had to retaliate to save their "'jal, jungle, zameen, izzat and pran' (resources, dignity and lives)."
"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," a statement purportedly written by Maoists read.