Balaghat: Around 100 Maoists from Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra have sneaked into Madhya Pradesh over the past few months to expand their base, prompting the state government to seek deployment of six companies of paramilitary forces in the rebel-hit areas, a police official said.

These security forces are likely to be deployed soon in Madhya Pradesh's Balaghat and tribal-dominated Mandla districts, which the Maoists have entered, he said.

"As per the information provided to us by our sources, around 100 rebels from Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra have entered Madhya Pradesh over the past few months to expand their base in the region," the official said.

Six dalams (groups) of Maoists are operating in Balaghat and Mandla districts. Of these, Khatia Mocha Dalam in Mandla came up last year, he said, adding that Mandla and Balaghat share a long border.

Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra, during his visit to Balaghat last month, had told reporters that six companies of paramilitary forces are going to be sent to Balaghat and Mandla to tackle the Maoist menace.

The Madhya Pradesh police's anti-Maoist wing Hawk Force is already deployed in Balaghat. Besides, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) battalion is also stationed there, the official said.

Police said that Maoists have sneaked into Madhya Pradesh from the neighbouring states can be gauged from the fact that three women Maoists- two from Chhattisgarh and one from Maharashtra-were killed in three separate encounters with police in Balaghat in November and December 2020.

A rebel who had entered Balaghat from Chhattisgarh had also been captured in September last year, they added.

Sharda (25), who hailed from Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh, carried an overall bounty of ₹ eight lakh ₹ three lakh of MP and ₹ five lakh of Chhattisgarh police- on her head. She was killed on November 6, police said.

Likewise, Savitri Alias Ayathe (24), who hailed from Gangloor in Chhattisgarh's Bastar region, and Shobha Gowde (30) from Maharashtra's Gadchiroli, were killed in police encounters in Balaghat on December 1112. Both of them carried rewards of ₹ 14 lakh each on their heads, they said.

Besides, Balaghat police had captured dreaded Maoist Badal Singh Markam of Chhattisgarh in September last year after he entered MP through Balaghat, which shares border with Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, they said.