Raipur (Chhattisgarh): Hours after Naxals killed twenty-six Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday condemned the heinous attack.
In a series of tweets, the PM said, “Attack on CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh is cowardly and deplorable. We are monitoring the situation closely…We are proud of the valour of our CRPF personnel. The sacrifice of the martyrs will not go in vain… Condolences to their families.”
Narendra Modi ✔ @narendramodi
Attack on @crpfindia personnel in Chhattisgarh is cowardly & deplorable. We are monitoring the situation closely.
6:51 PM – 24 Apr 2017
918 918 Retweets 2,387 2,387 likes
Reacting to the situation, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, who was in Delhi to meet PM Modi, has called an emergency meeting later on Monday, state home minister Ram Sewak Paikra told CNN-News 18.
The attack on the CRPF road-opening party moving towards Chintagufa area occurred around 12.25 pm in south Bastar area of the state.
“We have lost twenty-six men in the encounter. As of now, we know that these men were out for a road opening task and they came under heavy fire from Naxalites…,” CRPF Deputy Inspector General M. Dinakaran said.
The six troopers who were wounded and have been warded in hospitals include Assistant Sub-Inspector R P Hembram and Constables Swaroop Kumar, Mohinder Singh, Jitendra Kumar, Sher Mohammed and Latoo Oraon. Mohammed and Oraon were said to be out of danger.
Narrating the horrible experience, Costable Sher Mohammed said, “First, villagers traced our location and strength then almost 300 Naxals attacked us. In retaliatory firing, we also killed many of them. At least 3-4 naxals were shot in the chest.”
This was the second major attack on CRPF personnel in 2017. (Photo: CNN-News 18 TV grab)
Meanwhile, CRPF Cobra teams have launched a major search operation under the guidance of senior officials to nab the ultras and recover the stolen arms and ammunition.
“A helicopter has already left for the spot to evacuate the injured. The encounter is still on,” a senior officer said. Reinforcement parties from the nearest CRPF camp have also been rushed in, the officer added.
ALSO READ: Here’s a Look at Recent Attacks on CRPF Personnel
The Indian Air Force (IAF) said, “Approximately, at 1500 hrs message was received by the IAFs anti-Naxal task force Commander about the ambush of CRPF team at Burkapal area of Sukma district. Immediately two IAF Mi-17 V5s of Jagdalpur detachment took off for Burkapal. One of the MI-17 was flying in escort role. On landing at venue of ambush, it was learnt that the mortal remains of 11 CRPF martyrs and seven injured jawans were to be airlifted. Immediately, the injured were airlifted and shifted to Raipur for treatment. One of the jawans succumbed to injuries in flight on the way to Raipur. The helicopter landed with casualties at Raipur approximately at 1700 Hrs. More helicopters have been launched from Raipur and Jagdalpur to evacuate mortal remains of the martyrs.”
M Venkaiah Naidu ✔ @MVenkaiahNaidu
Maoists indulging in mindless killing. My deep condolences to the bereaved families. RIP…
6:10 PM – 24 Apr 2017
24 24 Retweets 118 118 likes
ShivrajSingh Chouhan ✔ @ChouhanShivraj
Shocked & saddened at death of our brave @crpfindia soldiers in #Sukma. My deepest condolences & prayers are with families.
6:09 PM – 24 Apr 2017
69 69 Retweets 197 197 likes
Speaking on the tragic incident, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari on Monday said the government should take action against people who are behind the attack.
“Extremely unfortunate, hope govt will act with alacrity. Hope government initiates appropriate action against people responsible for the attack,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Bomb disposal squad diffused 10 kg of IED explosives planted by Maoists in Dantewada.
This was the second major attack on CRPF personnel in 2017. On March 11, twelve CRPF personnel were killed in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh after the Naxals ambushed a CRPF patrol party in the Maoist hotbed and looted their arms. Four personnel were also injured in the attack.
In 2010, in the worst attack on CRPF, 76 men died in Dantewada as they were on an area domination exercise.