In a first major attack by Maoists after declaring a boycott of the upcoming assembly polls in Chhattisgarh, at least twelve CRPF jawans were killed and six others seriously injured in a powerful landmine blasts followed by firing in Bijapur district on Monday afternoon.
Giving details of the attack, senior IPS official and police spokesman Rajkumar Dewangan said 70 to 80 armed Naxalites triggered a landmine first and then started firing on the jawans of CRPF's 170th battalion between Modakpal and Kongpalli in Hijapur district.
The jawans had gone in the area as road opening party. The CRPF battalion has been deployed to provide protection to the Border Road Organisation (BRO) at Modakpal village.
Dewangan said the CRPF patrol was divided into two units for the field operation. “After one of the units became victim of the landmine blast, the other unit rushed for the rescue resulting in the heavy exchange of fire between the cops and the rebels for couple of hours,” he added.
Police claimed to have recovered a body of a Naxalite in uniform and seized some weapons.
The jawans injured in the attack were airlifted to Jagdalpur and admitted to a district hospital.
The jawans killed in the attack have been identified as Shailendra Bhardwaj, Nitesh Kumar, Pappu Kumar, Suman Singh, Abhishek Kumar, Moti-ur-Rehman, Neeraj Sharma, Dhirendra Deka, Arun Kumar Singh, B E Surya, B O Ram and PC Sethi.