As many as 21 jawans are still missing since the encounter with Naxals in Chhattisgarh on 3 April. Security forces have launched an operation along the Sukma-Bijapur border, where an intense face-off resulted in the deaths of five jawans and left 20 others injured.
Sources said that Director-General, CRPF, Kuldiep Singh is on his way to Chhattisgarh to take stock of the situation.
Officials said a total of 24 injured jawans were brought to the Bijapur hospital. At least seven were referred to a hospital in Raipur for treatment.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah condoled the deaths of security personnel in Chhattisgarh. “We will continue our fight against these enemies of peace & progress,” Shah said referring to the Maoists who ambushed jawans in Tarrem.
Amit Shah spoke to Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in this regard on 4 April.
Earlier on 3 April, PM Narendra Modi had wished the injured jawans a speedy recovery. “My thoughts are with the families of those martyred while fighting Maoists in Chhattisgarh,” the Prime Minister had said in a tweet.
The dead bodies of two Commando Battalions for Resolute Action (CoBRA) jawans were recovered on 3 April. They were later air-lifted to Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district. The dead bodies of the other three jawans are yet to be retrieved.
Among two of the jawans killed in action, one was from the CoBRA unit while the other was part of the Bastariya Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The other three jawans who lost their lives in the encounter on Saturday were enlisted with the District Reserve Guard (DRG).
Inspector-General of Police (Bastar) P Sunderraj said at least nine Naxals were killed in the encounter with security forces that lasted three hours. Among those killed was a woman Maoist.
However, security forces estimate that over 15 Maoists were killed in the encounter.
On 4 April morning, tribute was paid to the CRPF jawans killed in the line of action at the force’s camp in Jagdalpur.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) had just last month arrested three Naxals for planting IEDs to target security forces. Two IEDs were recovered during the operation at Bakarkatta in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district.
Among the Maoists arrested was a deputy commander of a militia platoon.
An encounter broke out between security forces and Naxals along the Sukma-Bijapur border in Chhattisgarh on 3 April.
Nearly 400 personnel of the CRPF, CoBRA unit, DRG and the Special Task Force (STF) were conducting anti-Naxal operations when they were ambushed by Naxals.
Heavy gunfire was exchanged during the encounter that lasted for three hours at Tekulgudam under the limits of Tarrem police station.