Chhattisgarh: One of the biggest setbacks for security forces in Chhattisgarh, Maoists killed 17 troopers in an encounter in Sukma, police said Sunday.
Police have found the bodies of the 17 jawans of state police in Minpa jungles of Sukma where a fierce encounter took place on Saturday.
Chhattisgarh police had said on Saturday that more than a dozen security personnel were reported missing after the encounter while 14 injured jawans were injured and were brought for treatment to Raipur, about 400 km north of the site of the fighting.
“Seventeen bodies of jawans of state police has been recovered by the rescue teams sent in the jungle till now,” said Chhattisgarh’s Director General of Police (DGP) DM Awasthi. Fifteen automatic rifles including 10 AK-47 of the security forces are missing, a police official said.
Awasthi said the encounter began at around 1 pm on Saturday near Korajguda hills in the Chintagufa area when a joint team of security forces was out on an anti-Maoists operation.
“There were multiple encounters after 1pm, which took place in that area till evening. After the force came back we found that 17 jawans of state police were missing and 14 were injured,” said Awasthi. The operation was launched by the police’s District Reserve Guard (DRG), Special Task Force and CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) had launched the operation from Chintagufa and involved 150 security personnel,
A large reinforcement was sent to the encounter spot on Sunday morning, the DGP said. The police chief said members of the team involved in the encounter said about a dozen Maoists sustained bullet injuries. But the search team did not find any bodies of Maoists.
The DGP further said that the encounter took place with Battalion Number One of CPI (Maoist), which is led by Mandavi Hidma. “There were about 300 Maoists who were led by Hidma … We have information that the cadres of other states have also gathered near Minpa,” the DGP added. Saturday’s loss was the biggest for security forces since April 24, 2017, when Maoists killed 25 CRPF personnel in an ambush near Burkapal in Sukma.