26 cops killed in encounter with Maoists in India (Watch video)
At least 26 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans have been allegedly killed after an encounter with Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district on Monday.
Several others have been wounded in the attack. All of them are from the 74 battalion of the CRPF. It was a road-opening party of the force that was attacked by the Maoists. This is the worst Maoist attack on security forces since the April 2010 attack in Dantewada district that led to the death of 76 CRPF personnel.
The encounter occurred at around 12:25 pm between the Burkapal-Chintagufa area of the worst Maoist violence-affected district in south Bastar area of the state. One of the jawans passed away en route to a hospital in Raipur.
“As of now, we know that these men were out for a road opening task and they came under heavy fire from Naxalites. Seven other injured troops, including few who are critical, are being evacuated by helicopters,” a senior CRPF officer told PTI. They were sanitising a road which is being built in the area, the officer added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack calling it ‘cowardly’ and ‘deplorable’. “The sacrifice of the martyrs will not go in vain. Condolences to their families,” the PM said.
“Extremely pained to know about the killing of CRPF personnel in Sukma. My tributes to the martyrs and condolences to their families,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted. He said MoS Hansraj Ahir will go to Chhattisgarh to take stock of the situation.
The CRPF report to the Home Ministry said while 7 jawans are yet to be located, two of the injured are in a critical condition. Additionally, the company commander who headed the 74 Battalion is still reported to be missing.
The evacuation process is on and reinforcements have also been rushed to the spot. Chief Minister Raman Singh, who cut short his trip to New Delhi, has rushed to Raipur for an emergency meeting to review the situation. “The chief minister has curtailed his stay in Delhi and gone back. He will hold meeting with senior officials from the police and the administration on the naxal attack there,” a state government official told PTI.
Twelve personnel of the CRPF from the 219 Battalion were killed in Sukma district earlier this year in a Naxal ambush. That incident was reported in the dense forests near Kottacheru village under Bhejji police station, around 450 kms away from the state capital of Raipur. It was one of the deadliest attacks on security forces.
Click here to watch the video of Maoist attack...