New Delhi, April 24
At least 26 CRPF personnel were killed and and six others wounded in a deadly ambush by naxalites+ in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district on Monday.
The attack took place at around 12.25pm between the Burkapal-Chintagufa area in south Bastar, one of the worst Maoist violence-affected region in the state.
Six CRPF troops are said to be critically injured and efforts are on to evacuate them to safety. The jawans are from the 74th battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and were deployed in the area for anti-Maoist operations. “The incident took place when the road opening party of the 74th battalion of CRPF were out on patrol at Burkapal near Chintagufa. The jawans were deployed for security at an under construction road. The Maoists ambushed CRPF personnel and started indiscriminate firing,” said Jitendra Shukla, additional superintendent of police, Sukma.
According to reports, 90 CRPF jawans were part of the road opening party when they were attacked by the Maoists.
“First naxalites sent villagers to trace our location, then almost 300 naxalites attacked us. We also fired and killed many… I shot three-four naxalites in the chest,” CRPF constable Sher Mohammed, who was wounded in the attack, told .
While reinforcement from the nearest CRPF camp had rushed to the spot soon after the incident, the injured were being airlifted to Raipur for treatment, Shukla added.
All weapons, wireless and complete ammunition belonging to the slain jawans were looted by the Maoists. In light of the attack, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh has cancelled his engagements in Delhi and rushed to Raipur, where he will hold an emergency meeting later in the day.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to condemn the attack and called it ‘cowardly and deplorable.’ Bastar inspector general Vivekanand Sinha and deputy inspector general Sunderraj have left for Sukma to take stock of the situation. Twelve personnel of the CRPF were killed in the same district early this year in a deadly Naxal ambush.