RAIPUR: At least four Chhattisgarh police personnel were killed and nine others injured in an ambush followed by an hour-long fierce encounter with the Maoists at the inhospitable forested terrain of Abujhmad's Irpanar in Narayanpur district, about 330 km south of Raipur on Wednesday.
The deceased included two sub-inspector rank police officers and two constables. The injured jawans were air-lifted from the encounter site to Raipur by a chopper. All the four personnel killed in the attack belonged to the specially trained district reserve guards (DRG).
According to the police, the rebels first triggered a powerful blast and later resorted to indiscriminate firing on the forces resulting in an exchange of fire.
Based on a tip-off a joint team of the special task force (STF), DRG comprising of over 60 jawans left on the searching operation in the Maoist stronghold of Abujhmad when they were trapped in an ambush laid by the Naxals.
“It was an intelligence-based operation based on the movement of Maoists in the region. The Narayanpur superintendent of police Jitendra Shukla executed this operation. Maoists ambushed our men resulting in a fierce gun-battle for an hour, killing four jawans," said Special DG (anti-Maoist operation) D M Awasthi.
The company number 6 of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) were involved in the attack, the DG added. The forces were out on the operation since Tuesday night.
The Chhattisgarh police believe the Naxals too had suffered losses. “Details are awaited as the forces are yet to return from the remote forested area”, Awasthi said.
The reinforcement was rushed to the site to assist the forces and further carry out the cordon and search operation in the region.
According to the doctors attending the injured in Raipur, all the nine sustained bullet injuries and the conditions of two were stated to be critical. The two police sub-inspectors killed in the gunfight were identified as Vinod Vinod and Mulchand Kanwar.
In another incident at the strife-torn Bijapur district of Bastar, the Naxalites detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) injuring two security personnel. Both of them were sent to Raipur by helicopter for immediate medical attention.
Naranaypur and Bijapur are among the seven worst-affected district of Bastar. In Chhattisgarh, the left-wing extremists have their presence in 16 of the 27 districts.