The Chhattisgarh Police has recovered seven foreign-made telescopic sights, meant to be installed on rifles for better aim, from Naxals after an encounter in Narayanpur district, an official said Sunday.
This is the first time that such hi-tech optical devices have been recovered from the rebels, the police claimed.
The police are investigating how the Maoists got the gadgets as according to senior police officials, even the state security forces do not have these sophisticated devices.
The telescopic sights are usually fitted on top of the barrel of weapons and make the target more clearly visible from a distance.
The seven telescopic sights were recovered Friday from a forest in Narayanpur district after an encounter between a joint team of security forces and the ultras, Superintendent of Police Jitendra Shukla told PTI.
The encounter took place in an area between Kandulnar and Garpa villages in Abhujmad area of the district, police said.
"The telescopic sights had the 'Made in Spain' mark and mentioned Bushnell as the manufacturing company. This is the first time that this high-quality device has been recovered in Chhattisgarh," Shukla said.
He said acting on a tip-off about a naxal training camp being run in the area, a joint squad of the Special Task Force (STF) and District Reserve Guard (DRG) was sent out on an operation.
When the patrolling team was surrounding the Maoist training camp between Kandulnar and Garpa, located around 350 km from state capital Raipur, an exchange of fire took place between the two sides, Shukla said.
He said after a brief gun-battle, the Maoists escaped into the dense forest.
During a search of the spot, a huge cache of Maoist material, including the telescopic sights, five air guns, six bombs and seven pressure cookers used to make improvised explosive devices were found, Shukla said.
Explosive powder, batteries, some bundles of electric wires and crackers, were also recovered from the spot, he said.
The striking feature of this device is that it provides an ability to shoot at night too, the SP said, adding that an inquiry has been launched to find out its source.
This sophisticated equipment is neither used by the Chhattisgarh Police nor by paramilitary forces posted in the state, another senior official said on condition of anonymity.
The device can provide a telescopic view for a better shot from a distance of 150-200 metres. Maoists may use this to make snipers to target security forces from top of small mountains and trees, he said.
The recovery is significant as the assembly polls are due in the state later this year and naxals devise new strategies to harm security personnel, the official said.
In May, a German made G-3 rifle was recovered after an encounter with naxals in Sukma district while a Thompson sub-machine gun (US made) was seized from rebels in Narayanpur district in July, he added.
Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections. Election results will be out on May 23.