22 security personnel killed in encounter with Maoists in Chhattisgarh

at 5:14 pm
Representational Image

New Delhi (NVI): At least 22 security personnel have been confirmed dead, one missing and about 30 injured in an encounter with Maoists that began yesterday in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district.

Yesterday, separate joint teams of security forces, with over 2,000 personnel launched a major operation from Bijapur and Sukma districts in South Bastar forests, as per news reports. The area is considered as Maoist stronghold.

The Maoists laid an ambush at around 12 noon, leading to an encounter which lasted for three hours.

According to reports, 17 more bodies were recovered from the jungles in Bijapur district today, taking the death toll to 22. Two Naxalites were also killed in the gunfight, as per reports.

Today, Union Home Minister Amit Shah condoled the loss of lives in the incident, saying that their valour will not go wasted.

I bow to the sacrifices of our brave security personnel martyred while fighting Maoists in Chhattisgarh. Nation will never forget their valour. My condolences are with their families. We will continue our fight against these enemies of peace & progress. May injured recover soon,” he said.

While speaking to media in Guwahati, the Home Minister said that a search operation is underway and that both sides have suffered losses.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep anguish over the death of jawans yesterday.

“My thoughts are with the families of those martyred while fighting Maoists in Chhattisgarh. The sacrifices of the brave martyrs will never be forgotten. May the injured recover at the earliest,” PM tweeted.

President Ram Nath Kovind also expressed condolences to the bereaved families.

“The killing of the security personnel while battling Maoist insurgency in Chhattisgarh is a matter of deep anguish. My condolences to the bereaved families. The nation shares their pain and will never forget this sacrifice,” he tweeted.

Earlier last month, three District Reserve Guard (DRG) personnel were killed while five others were critically injured, besides 10 others wounded in an IED blast after the bus they were travelling in was targeted by Naxals in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh.