Two days after a deadly encounter with Naxals took place in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur, in which at least 22 security personnel were killed and around 31 were injured, Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited the state on Monday, 5 April and held a review meeting with Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel as well as officials of the security forces.
"I held a review meeting with Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel and officers of security forces. The officers said that this fight should not weaken, which shows that the morale of our jawans is intact," Shah was quoted as saying while speaking to the media in Jagdalpur.
Assuring that the battle against Naxals will be intensified, Shah went on to say, "We have successfully set up camps in interior areas in the last few years, which has troubled Naxals, resulting in such types of incidents... Both Central and state governments are working in tandem on two fronts – intensify development works in tribal areas and fight against armed groups."
Arriving in Jadgalpur on Monday, Shah was received by state Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. The two laid the wreath at the coffins of 14 personnel who were killed in the encounter on Saturday.
The Union home minister will also meet the injured jawans at the hospital.
Andhra Pradesh Govt Announces Rs 30 Lakh Ex Gratia
Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh government has announced Rs 30 lakh each for the kin of killed soldiers Routhu Jagadeesh and Shakamuri Murali Krishna who lost their lives in the encounter.
Routhu Jagadeesh hails from the Gajularega area of the Vizianagaram district and Shakamuri Murali Krishna belongs to the Sattenaplli area of the Guntur district.
Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy also offered his condolences to members of the bereaved families.
What Happened on Saturday?
A contingent of 1,500 troops had launched a search and destroy operation along the border of Bijapur and Sukma on Saturday, after getting inputs about Naxal presence in the area. There were also inputs about the presence of wanted Naxal leader Hidma.
"Inputs were received that Naxals were carrying out their Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign (TCOC) in the Jagargunda-Jongaguda-Tarrem axis, and hence security teams from six camps were deputed to intercept them,” an officer had told PTI.
“The Maoists drew the forces into an ambush with heavy gunfire soon after, and helicopter sorties were requisitioned to evacuate the injured personnel,” a senior security officer told PTI.
The contingent was ambushed by a group of around 400 Maoists.
Speaking to news agency ANI, CRPF DG Kuldiep Singh said, "There is no point in saying that there was some kind of intelligence or operational failure. Had it been some intelligence failure, forces would have not gone for the operation. And if there was some operational failure, so many Maoists would have not been killed." He pegged the number of Maoists killed at "not less than 25-30."
Among the deceased personnel, eight have been identified as belonging to the District Reserve Guard, including Deepak Bhardwaj, Ramesh Kumar, Narayan Sodhi, Ramesh Korsa, Subhash Nayak, Kishore Andreek, Sankuram Sodhi, Bhosaram Kartami.
Seven belonged to the CoBRA unit, including Dilip Kumar Das, Raj Kumar Yadav, Shambhurai, Dharmdev Kumar, SM Krishna, R Jagdish, Bablu Rabha.
Six others were from the Special Task Force, including Shravan Kashyap, Ramdas Korram, Jagatram Kanwar, Sukhsingh Faras, Ramashankar Paikra and Shankarnath. Constable Samaiyaa Maravi of the Bastariya Batallion was also killed in Saturday's encounter.
(With inputs from ANI.)