Sukma Attack: 9 CRPF Jawans Dead, CM Says Attack Was out of Panic
Nine personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed in an IED blast, when suspected Maoists blew up their mine-protected vehicle (MPV) in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district on Tuesday, 13 March, an official told PTI.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, on Wednesday, 14 March, said that the Maoists were attacking in panic.
On Tuesday, 13 March, DM Awasthi, Special Director General, Anti-Naxal Operations, told ANI that a patrolling party was going from Kistaram to Palodi in an anti-landmine vehicle, which was targeted by Maoists. Additional forces reached the spot soon after the attack.
Six CRPF jawans were also reportedly injured in the explosion, of which four are said to be critical, ANI reported.
The blast occurred when a team of CRPF's 212th Battalion was patrolling in a forest in Kistaram area of Sukma, located around 500 km from Raipur, a paramilitary official told PTI.
"Nine paramilitary personnel, belonging to the 212th Battalion, were killed in the blast," he added.
President, Ministers Condole Deaths of Jawans
President Ram Nath Kovind, in a Tweet, condemned the attack on the CRPF jawans, stating that India remains “firm in its resolve to combat terror in all its forms.”
Home Minister Rajnath Singh also condemned the attack that left nine jawans dead, adding that he’d instructed the Director General of the CRPF to fly to Sukma immediately.
The security men were conducting an area-domination operation in the forest of Kistaram when the Maoists blew up the CRPF's mine-protected vehicle, a CRPF official told PTI.
The injured personnel are being airlifted to Raipur, the official added.
The rebels used a lot of explosives to blow up the vehicle, a state police official to PTI.
‘Second Encounter With Maoists’
Officials added that the first encounter between the two sides took place at 8 am and later this contingent was targeted by the Maoists.
Soon after the incident, reinforcements were rushed to the spot, an official told PTI, adding that further details were awaited.
Twelve personnel of the force were killed on March 11 last year in the Bheji area of the district and their arms looted when Naxals ambushed their patrol party.
A few days later on 24 April, 25 personnel of the paramilitary were killed in a similar ambush in Sukma.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)