You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News » National
Business Standard

Bodies of 17 jawans recovered from Chhattisgarh encounter site, toll 22

Bodies of 17 of the 18 jawans missing after an encounter with Naxals in Chhattisgarh were recovered from the site of the skirmish on Sunday

Naxal Attack | Chhattisgarh | CRPF

Press Trust of India  |  Raipur 

Bijapur: A security personnel is shifted for treatment after he was injured in an encounter with Naxals in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh. (Photo: PTI)
Bijapur: A security personnel is shifted for treatment after he was injured in an encounter with Naxals in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh. (Photo: PTI)

Police recovered bullet-riddled bodies of 17 jawans in the jungles of on Sunday, raising the number of security personnel killed in a fierce gunbattle with Naxals the previous day to 22  — the biggest massacre in more than a year that also left 31 injured.
The police also recovered the bodies of three jawans killed in the encounter, an official said, adding a search operation was on in the forest to trace a missing jawan.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday held a high-level meeting to review the security situation 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, who cut short his election campaigning in Assam and flew back to Delhi to take stock of the situation, said a befitting response would be given to those responsible for the attack at an appropriate time. 
“As far as the numbers are concerned, both sides have suffered losses and exact casualty figures cannot be ascertained immediately,” Shah said. “Our securitymen have lost their lives, we will not tolerate this bloodshed and a befitting reply will be given at an appropriate time.”
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 told PTI. The missing jawan belongs to the CoBRA unit, he said.
He said the anti-Naxal operation was launched based on the intelligence inputs about the presence of Maoists of PLGA (Peoples’ Liberation Guerilla Army) Battalion No. 1 led by Hidma, a Naxal commander involved in many deadly attacks on security forces. He rubbished reports of “a meticulously planned Naxal ambush”, adding, “Security forces fought bravely and inflicted a heavy blow to the ultras during the face-off.”
Another senior police official said the Naxals, around 400 in number, were strategically positioned on a hillock in front of Tekalguda village and around it. The personnel came under heavy fire following which a few moved to the deserted village to take defensive positions where the Naxals lay in wait, the official said.
Eighteen jawans were missing after five security personnel were killed on Saturday in the gun battle with Naxals in a forest along the border between Bijapur and Sukma districts, police said.
“On Sunday, bodies of 17 missing personnel were recovered during a search operation,” the official said. Some weapons of the forces were missing.
Separate joint teams of security forces, comprising over 2,000 personnel, launched an anti-Naxal operation in the South Bastar forests, considered as a Maoist stronghold, on Friday night. When the patrolling team dispatched from Tarrem was advancing through the forest near Jonaguda, it was ambushed by cadres of PLGA battalion of Maoists and a gun battle ensued, he said.
Chhattisgarh’s Deputy Inspector General (anti-Naxal operation) O P Pal on Saturday said some jawans, both from the police and paramilitary were reported missing after the encounter, adding efforts were on to trace them.
Pal had 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.
The attack comes after the March 23 incident when five DRG personnel were killed as the Maoists blew up a bus carrying the security personnel with an IED in the Narayanpur district of the state.
On March 21 last year, 17 security personnel were killed in a Naxal ambush in the Minpa area of Sukma district.
On April 9, 2019, BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi and four security personnel were killed after Naxals blew up their vehicle with an IED in Dantewada district.
On April 24, 2017, 25 personnel were killed in a Naxal ambush in Burkapal area of Sukma district.
In March 2017, 12 jawans were killed in a Maoist attack in Sukma district.
In November 2016, two jawans were injured in a pressure bomb blast triggered by Naxals in the dense forest of Sukma district.
As many as 14 of the 27 districts in are affected by Left Wing Extremism violence.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday spoke to Chief Minister and took stock of the situation following the incident, officials said.
Shah also directed CRPF's Director General Kuldiep Singh to visit Chhattisgarh to assess the situation.
The Union home minister condoled the death of the security personnel in the encounter and said their valour will never be forgotten. The government will continue its fight against the enemies of peace and progress, he added.
President Ram Nath Kovind expressed deep anguish over the death of the security personnel.
"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," he tweeted.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sun, April 04 2021. 13:19 IST