Eight security personnel were killed in line of duty and around 18 are still missing following Saturday’s encounter with Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district, confirmed Ashok Juneja, DG Anti Naxal Operations.
“A reinforcement party has rushed to the encounter spot. Bodies of two jawans have been recovered as of now,” Chhattisgarh Police sources told news agency ANI.
“23 injured have been admitted to Bijapur hospital and 7 have been admitted to a Raipur hospital,” sources added.
On Saturday, Chhattisgarh Director-General of Police DM Awasthi had informed that the gunbattle broke out when a joint team of security forces was out on an anti-Naxal operation.
“In an encounter in Bijapur, Chhattisgarh, initial reports indicate that three District Reserve Guard (DRG) and two Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans have been martyred, one Naxal has also been killed, the encounter is on,” the CRPF had said.
For the last 10 days, security forces in Chhattisgarh were getting information about the whereabouts of Madvi Hidma, a top Naxal of banned CPI (Maoist) who has been linked to major attacks including the 2013 Jhiram Ghati killings.
Over 30 people, including senior leaders of the Chhattisgarh Congress, were killed in the Jhiram Ghati Naxal attack in 2013.
Saturday’s encounter comes days after five police personnel were killed and 14 injured after Maoists targeted a bus carrying 27 DRG (District Reserve Guard) troops in Chhattisgarh’s Naryanpur district.
The bus, which had been travelling from Kadenar to Kanhargaon, was hit by an IED (improvised explosive device).
On Thursday, meanwhile, three Maoists involved in planting explosives to target the security forces were arrested from Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district.