Staff Reporter :
Acting on a precise input about the location of hardcore Naxal Hidma, who is the commander of PLGA’s battalion, a joint team of CRPF, CoBRA, STF and DRG launched an operation on April 2 Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and held a detailed discussion
POLICE recovered bullet-riddled bodies of 17 jawans in the jungles of Chhattisgarh on Sunday, raising toll of the martyred security personnel in an ambush by the cadres of Peoples’ Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) in Bijapur district on April 3 to 22 -- the biggest massacre in more than a year that also left 31 injured. One trooper is still reported to be missing, said officials. A search operation is on in the forest to trace a missing jawan. The dead include eight from the District Reserve Guard (DRG), seven from the CRPF’s Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), six from the Special Task Force and one from the ‘Bastariya’ battalion of the CRPF,” Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P said.
The missing jawan belongs to the CoBRA unit, he said. “Twenty-two security personnel were martyred and one trooper was missing whereas 31 personnel were injured in the encounter,” stated Director General of Police (DGP) D M Awasthi. Acting on a precise input about the location of hardcore Naxal Hidma, who is the commander of PLGA’s battalion, a joint team of CRPF, CoBRA, STF and DRG launched an operation on April 2. In the operation, a contingent of 760 personnel left from Bijapur’s Terram while 200 from Usoor and 195 from Pamed. Similarly, a posse of around 483 personnel participated from Sukma’s Minpa and 420 from Narsapuram. As the security personnel reached Junagarh, ultras opened indiscriminate fire coupled with blast leaving no time to security personnel for retaliation. In the incident insurgents have suffered heavy casualties, claimed senior officials stating that the jawan retaliated with force after the initial quiver.
The bodies of the troopers were lying scattered in many places after the incident giving a loathsome and gory picture of this incident. The reinforcements that reached have already started the combing and sanitisation operation in the area. While there are unconfirmed reports that the Naxalites have opened fire even at the reinforcement and injured a trooper, however, there is no official confirmation of the same so far. President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted, “The killing of the security personnel while battling Maoist insurgency in Chhattisgarh is a matter of deep anguish. My condolences to the bereaved families, the nation shares their pain and will never forget this sacrifice.” “My thoughts are with the families of those martyred while fighting Maoists in Chhattisgarh. The sacrifices of the brave martyrs will never be forgotten. May the injured recover at the earliest,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday paid tribute to the security personnel killed in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur Naxal attack and said their sacrifice will never be forgotten.
“Tributes to our courageous security personnel who were killed in action while fighting against the Left Wing extremists at Sukma-Bijapur border in Chhattisgarh. They fought with utmost courage and their sacrifice will never be forgotten. My deepest condolences to their families,” Singh tweeted. Arrangements are being made to send the bodies of martyred troopers to their native places. Injured troopers were airlifted to Raipur and are undergoing treatment while those with not so serious injuries are being treated in Jagdalpur and Bijapur. Chhattisgarh’s Deputy Inspector General (anti-Naxal operation) O P Pal claimed that the Maoists suffered a huge loss in the gunfight. Only the body of a woman Naxal could be recovered from the spot amid heavy exchange of fire. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday and held a detailed discussion regarding the Naxalite incident in Bijapur. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel informed the Union Home Minister about the situation on the ground after the encounter between the Naxalites and the security forces of the State and Centre in Bijapur. Shah also directed CRPF’s Director General Kuldiep Singh to visit Chhattisgarh to assess the situation.
The Chief Minister said that the damage caused to the security forces in the encounter is tragic. But the security forces are strong and will win this fight against Naxalite violence. Amit Shah holds high-level security meeting: UNION Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday held a high-level meeting to review the security situation in Chhattisgarh in the wake of the killing of 22 security personnel by Naxals in the State, officials said. Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, Intelligence Bureau Director Arvind Kumar and senior officials of the Home Ministry and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) attended the meeting. The Home Minister held a meeting to review the security situation in Chhattisgarh, a Ministry official said. At least 22 security personnel were killed by Naxals in an encounter in Chhattisgarh on Saturday.
While five bodies were recovered from the spot on Saturday, bodies of 17 others were recovered on Sunday. Earlier, Shah cut short his electioneering in Assam and returned to Delhi following the incident. The Home Minister has spoken to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and taken stock of the situation in the State. The dead include personnel from the elite CoBRA unit of the CRPF, the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and Special Task Force (STF) of Chhattisgarh.