Maoists strike at Chhattisgarh
22 jawans killed, 32 injured
NEW DELHI, Apr 4
At least 22 security personnel were killed, 32 injured and one jawan was reportedly missing in a four-hour-long encounter with Maoist that took place on Saturday afternoon near Jonaguda village which falls under Jagargunda police station area (in Sukma).
Here is a look at what we know so far.
Massive operation launched on Friday
On Friday night, seperate joint teams of security forces, comprising over 2,000 personnel, launched a major anti-Maoists operation from Bijapur and Sukma districts in the South Bastar forests, considered as the Maoist stronghold.
Personnel belonging to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), its elite unit CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and the Special Task Force (STF) were involved in the operation launched from five places-Tarrem, Usoor and Pamed (in Bijapur), and Minpa and Narsapuram (in Sukma).
When the patrolling team that was dispatched from Tarrem was advancing through a forest near Jonaguda, located around 500 kms from the State capital Raipur, it was ambushed by cadres of the PLGA (Peoples' Liberation Guerilla Army) battalion of Maoists, leading to the gun-battle, reported PTI.
According to initial reports, five security personnel were reported as killed and 30 others received injuries in the gunfight. Several other security personnel were reported to be missing.
A senior police officer from Bastar said "chances of survival of missing jawans are slim, but we are hopeful of finding them alive".
Maoists have reportedly suffered a huge loss in the gunfight, but the body of only one woman Maoists could be recovered from the spot amid the heavy exchange of fire.
President, PM condole death of jawans
President Ram Nath Kovind expressed deep anguish over the martydom of jawans.
The killing of the security personnel while battling Maoist insurgency in Chhattisgarh is a matter of deep anguish
Condoling the death of the security personnel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said their sacrifices will never be forgotten.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah condoled the death of security personnel and said their valour will never be forgotten.
Shah also said the Government will continue its fight against such enemies of peace and progress.
"I bow to the sacrifices of our brave security personnel martyred while fighting Maoists in Chhattisgarh. Nation will never forget their valour. My condolences are with their families. We will continue our fight against these enemies of peace & progress. May injured recover soon," he said in a tweet.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel too condemned the incident and said the martyrdom of the jawans will not go in vain, and the anti-Maoist operation will be intensified, an official statement said.
"Our jawans have displayed exemplary courage by inflicting massive damage on Naxals (in this incident). Operation against Naxals will be intensified," the CM said.
Expressing his condolences, Baghel directed officials to ensure the best treatment to the injured jawans, the release said.
On March 23, five DRG personnel were killed when Maoists blew up a bus carrying the security personnel with an IED in Narayanpur district.
The Times of India