5,500 of paramilitary guarding Gadchiroli contingent of 18 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel — around 2,100 men — arrived in Gadchiroli on Sunday to assist in the combing operation to clear out the Naxal group that had gunned down 17 C-60 commandos last week near Lahiri. Eight companies of the CRPF and 27 companies of the Border Security Force had been pressed into poll duty earlier this month. With the fresh arrivals, the number of paramilitary personnel in the district has gone up to over 5,500. In a joint strategy chalked out by the Maharashtra police and the Chhattisgarh government, the combing operation has begun from both sides to first round up and then flush out the Naxals. Gadchiroli Additional SP Dr Manoj Sharma said the second army MI-17 helicopter was pressed into operation on Sunday. Two more choppers would be made available this week. Meanwhile, 20 kg of high-intensity explosives with blasting devices were recovered from Korchi, 65 km north of Gadchiroli, on Sunday. Sharma said the recovery was made while clearing a road. The explosives had been stashed in a cavity, ostensibly by Naxals to disrupt movement. The Naxals, he said, were resorting to “every possible trick” to obstruct the progress of the search parties in jungles as well as roads by creating obstacles. “The jungles have been mined while attempts are being made to disrupt road communication,” Sharma said, adding that mine detectors and anti- mine equipment were being used to clear the passage.