New Delhi: At least 20 security personnel are feared killed in a fierce encounter with Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district on Tuesday. There were 44 personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Chhattisgarh Police in the road opening party when it was attacked by over 200 heavily armed Naxals.
Those killed include 15 CRPF men and five belong to the state police force. Chhattisgarh Police ADG Mukesh Gupta confirmed the death of 20 security personnel. “The incident happened at around 10:30 am. Causalties on Naxal side have not been determined yet. The injured security men have been taken to the hospital,” said Gupta.
“The joint police party had gone out for road opening at 9 am. The party started at Tongpal area and was ambushed by Naxals as they moved ahead. We had losses because of topography which was not favourable to us. There were 44 men in two teams. The forces fired back and as a result the other isolated party was saved,” he said.
He denied that standard operating procedures were violated. “Operating procedures change according to situations. There was no violation of the operating procedures. The forces have fought valiantly. The opening of Jiram post was a major setback for Naxals,” he added.
The encounter took place near the Jiram Ghati area of Sukma and lasted for about 30 minutes. According to police sources, the Naxals overpowered the security personnel at the site where construction was going on a road.
Sukma is where Naxals had killed top Congress leaders in an attack in May 2013.