At least 25 paramilitary personnel were killed and six others were injured in Chhattisgarh’s south Sukma region on Monday by the suspected maoist militants. The attack was possibly to prevent a crucial road link the government thinks would break the support of the insurgent group.
The attack happened between the Burkapal-Chintagufa areas in the Maoist center of Bastar. The attack was said to be worst in seven years. In 2010, insurgents killed 75 CRPF troopers in the same region.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with President Pranab Mukherjee, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Vice-president Rahul Gandhi condemned the attack. “Attack on @crpfindia personnel in Chhattisgarh is cowardly & deplorable. We are monitoring the situation closely” PM tweeted.
The attacked jawans were part of a 99-strong team that was providing security to workers building the road. “Security forces will move with ease in the area after this road is built and this is troubling the Maoists. We are entering their core through this road,” said DM Awasthi, special director general of police (anti-Maoist operations).
As per the survivors of the attack, around 300 militants ambushed them, firing from hilltops. The personnel were eating lunch when they were targetted. “First Naxals sent villagers to trace our location, and then almost 300 Naxals attacked us. We also fired and killed many,” said CRPF constable Sher Mohammed as per the report.
Later, the jawans were evacuated by air force choppers and a rescue team. The deceased were from the 74th battalion of the CRPF.