The second Maoist ambush in less than a fortnight within Chhattisgarh’s restive Bastar Division claimed at least 15 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and five district police personnel and grievously injured a dozen near Takwada Hill in Sukma district this morning.
Several personnel are missing. The rebels blocked the road and torched a Poclain machine on the scene. Road-laying work is in progress between Darbha and Tongpal. A team, comprising 32 personnel of the CRPF’s 80th Battalion and 13 district personnel,which had set out from Tongpal on a road-opening operation, came under fire by more than 100 Naxalites in Takwada.
The site is seven km away from Jeeram Ghati where an ambush on May 25 killed 32 persons, including Congress state President Nandkumar Patel, former Union minister Vidya Charan Shukla, the Assembly’s ex-leader of the opposition Mahendra Karma and ten security personnel. The personnel returned fire and the guerrillas fled into a dense forest and hills after an approximately hour-long gunfight. ‘An additional force was rushed to the scene,’ Bastar’s Inspector General Arun Dev Gautam said.
Chief Minister Raman Singh, who left for Delhi last evening on a five-day visit, condemned the deadly Naxal ambush and is reportedly returning back to the state. According to official sources, the Chief Minister expressed his condolence to bereaved families of the martyrs. Dr Raman Singh convened a high-level meeting in Raipur with Chief Secretary Vivek Dhand, Director General of Police AN Upadhyay and other top officials this evening to review the situation.