NEW DELHI/RAIPUR, April 24 (SABAH): At least 26 CRPF personnel were killed and six others wounded in a deadly ambush by naxalites in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district on Monday.
The attack took place at around 12.25pm between the Burkapal-Chintagufa area in south Bastar, one of the worst Maoist violence-affected region in the state.
Six CRPF troops are said to be critically injured and efforts are on to evacuate them to safety. The jawans are from the 74th battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and were deployed in the area for anti-Maoist operations.
“The incident took place when the road opening party of the 74th battalion of CRPF were out on patrol at Burkapal near Chintagufa. The jawans were deployed for security at an under construction road. The Maoists ambushed CRPF personnel and started indiscriminate firing,” said Jitendra Shukla, additional superintendent of police, Sukma.
According to reports, 90 CRPF jawans were part of the road opening party when they were attacked by the Maoists. “First naxalites sent villagers to trace our location, then almost 300 naxalites attacked us. We also fired and killed many… I shot three-four naxalites in the chest,” CRPF constable Sher Mohammed, who was wounded in the attack, told ANI.
While reinforcement from the nearest CRPF camp had rushed to the spot soon after the incident, the injured were being airlifted to Raipur for treatment, Shukla added. All weapons, wireless and complete ammunition belonging to the slain jawans were looted by the Maoists.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to condemn the attack and called it ‘cowardly and deplorable.’ Chief Minister Raman Singh cut short a visit to Delhi and rushed to Raipur. Bastar inspector general and Sunderraj left for Sukma immediately.
Home minister Rajnath Singh tweeted that he was “extremely pained” to hear about the deaths and said his deputy — minister of state for home Hansraj Ahir —is going to Chhattisgarh to take stock of the situation.