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19 killed in Chhattisgarh encounter

Six CRPF personnel and 13 naxals were killed in two separate fierce encounters in the insurgency-hit Bijapur district.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2008 20:49 IST
Ejaz Kaiser

Six CRPF personnel and thirteen naxals were killed in two separate fierce encounters in the insurgency-hit Bijapur district on Monday afternoon, about 600 km from the state capital.

The Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) RK Vij said that the dead CRPF men included three head-constables and three constables. The encounter between the CRPF and naxals ensued in the Mirtur forest areas near the hills of Tadkel.

In yet another gun-battle with the state's elite Special Task Force in Easmeta jungle in Bijapur, atleast ten ultras were killed. The Director General of Police Vishwaranjan said that the police recovered the bodies of 10 naxalites killed from the encounter site.

The DGP further added that the fierce encounter is still continuing and there is a possibility of recovering more bodies of the rebels. There is no report of any casualty inflicted on the Special Task Force.

“The CRPF personnel were on a search operation since morning today in the area when the Maoists attacked them. It was the ambush laid by the Maoists”. He stated that the CRPF party comprised nearly 60 odd personnel who were attacked by the ultras. The naxalites involved in the attack were more than 300, it was told. The CRPF forces retaliated killing three extremists on the spot, said Vij.

However, the extremists succeeded in taking away the weapons of the killed CRPF personnel. He said that additional armed forces have been rushed to the area where the naxals have fled and they have surrounded the naxals. “The gun-battle is still on," said the IGP while adding that the police is likely to recover more bodies of the Maoists and the security personnel have surrounded them from various positions. Large number of naxalites are believed to have been injured in the fierce gun-battle, informed the police.

In another encounter with the state's elite Special Task Force in Easmeta jungle in Bijapur, ten naxals were killed whose bodies were recovered by the police. In Chhattisgarh, thirteen battalions of CRPF have been currently deployed in the insurgency-hit areas. As many as 11 districts out of the 18 in the state are infested with the menace of CPI rebels.

Recently the Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil during his visit to Raipur had agreed to provide Chhattisgarh with five more battalions of paramilitary forces to combat the Maoists.