21 jawans still missing after Maoist ambush: CRPF DG Kuldiep Singh amid fear of high death toll

Express News Service
RAIPUR: Amid fear on the death toll of the security personnel trapped in Maoist ambush likely to rise further, the CRPF director general Kuldiep Singh arrived in Chhattisgarh on Sunday and will proceed to the conflict zone of Bastar for inspecting the ground situation.

Bastar police had so far confirmed about eight personnel killed in the gunfight with the rebels on Saturday. “21 jawans are still missing after the encounter. The search operation continues in the region,” he told the media in Raipur.

Meanwhile local mediapersons in south Bastar reached ground zero at Teklaguda on Sukma-Bijapur border, where the fierce exchange of fire took place, and located several bodies of the security personnel lying on the ground within the periphery of one km.

As many as 28 troopers are injured in the Maoist ambush. Senior security advisor in the union home ministry K Vijay Kumar has been recently visiting the Bastar region to supervise the anti-Maoist strategy.

Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel spoke with Union Home minister Amit Shah on Sunday. Baghel, who is spearheading the Congress election campaign in Assam, said that both the sides have suffered the casualties.

“The incident shows the desperation of the Maoists who are now restricted to the small pockets in south Chhattisgarh region. Our fight against the rebels will continue till we achieve a Maoist-free Bastar,” he asserted. The CM will be returning to Raipur on Sunday evening.  

On Friday night, an intelligence-based anti-Maoist operation was launched by various parties of the forces comprising of over 1200 jawans along the Bijapur-Sukma border from three different directions in south Bastar.

A gunfight resulted between one of the teams and the armed guerrilla rebels who reportedly ambushed the troopers at the inhospitable Silger forested landscape of Bijapur and Teklaguda village located on the border of Maoist-affected Sukma district.