In the biggest attack by Maoists in Chhattisgarh, at least 70 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been killed in the ambush and several have been injured critically near Chintalnar in Dantewada district about 450 km south of the state capital.
The attack took place while the forces consisting of around 120 personnel were returning to their base camp on Tuesday morning when the red guerillas ambushed the troopers of 62nd battalion.
Reinforcement have been rushed to the spot from neighbouring districts and choppers pressed into rescue operations.
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The Bastar inspector general of police T J Lonkumer told The Hindustan Times that the ambush was followed by landmine blasts and encounters. “So far 25 bodies have been traced but we fear the casualty figure may rise as it was the major planned attack by the ultras”, the IGP said.
Top police officials believe that more than a thousand rebels might be involved in this meticulously planned attack and the CRPF perhaps walked into their booby trap.
Top state police officials including the DGP of CRPF, special DG CRPF are on their way to assess the situation on how the forces suffered high casualties despite heavy deployment of security personnel in Bastar region ever since the mega operation against the left wing extremists began in Chhattisgarh.
Chief minister Dr Raman Singh has condemned the attack calling it a cowardly act.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has expressed shock and grief over the incident and said that the unprepared troops literally walked into the trap.