New Delhi: As many as 25 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel of the 74th battalion were killed in the encounter with Naxals that took place yesterday in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma. The encounter began in the afternoon at 12:25 PM. It lasted nearly for four hours. As per the reports, the CRPF jawans had divided into 2 groups. One team had ventured 1.5km deep in the jungle when it came under heavy fire. Eleven jawans died on the spot while six others, including an inspector, were seriously injured.
The six injured CRPF personnel have been shifted to a hospital in Raipur. As many as 90 CRPF jawans were part of the road opening party when they were attacked by the Naxals. According to an injured jawan Sher Mohammed, nearly 300 naxal militants attacked the CRPF team. “They were 300 and we were 150. They were heavily armed, but we retaliated. I had shot at least 3 or 4 among them at their chest,” he was reported as saying by news agency ANI.
It has also been reported that the weapons of the jawans have been looted by the attackers. According to the reports of leading daily The Times Of India, the survivors couldn’t call for help as the rebels took away their radio sets.
“The troops replied in a befitting manner but taking advantage of their geographical position, Maoists succeeded in inflicting losses to CRPF,” TOI quoted parliamentary force’s statement.
The Congress Party has described the encounter killing of 12 CRPF personnel by Naxals as extremely unfortunate and called on the Narendra Modi-led NDA government to initiate appropriate counter action. Addressing the media, party spokesman Manish Tiwari said, “Extremely unfortunate. Hope government will act with alacrity. Hope government initiates appropriate action against people responsible for attack.”
Sukma, considered as a red-zone, is one of the hotbed of Maoist militancy. In a similar attack in the district last year, 12 personnel of CRPF’s 219th battalion were killed by the Naxalites.
(With inputs from Agencies)