Naxal terror is spreading in Chhattisgarh, touching districts hitherto almost unaffected. With three deadly strikes on Sunday in Rajnandgaon district, which killed 33 people, including a superintendent of police, Naxalites have moved out of their traditional strongholds in the state — the five districts of Bastar in the South and Sarguja in the North.
In their first strike early morning, they killed two policemen at Madanwada in Rajnandgaon, about 200 km west of Raipur, when they left their fortified outpost to answer the call of nature.
As convoys of security personnel rushed towards the spot where the men were killed, came the second attack. A group of around 200 Naxalites struck, killing 25 policemen, including superintendent of police Vinod Kumar Choubey.
“The rebels laid a trap and unfortunately our police party was killed in the ambush,” Deputy Inspector General (Intelligence) Pawan Dev told Hindustan Times.
Within hours, rebels triggered another powerful landmine blast near Sitagaon, about 60 km from the district headquarters, killing six more policemen
Two convoys of police parties led by Inspector General of Police Mukesh Gupta and district SP Vinod Kumar Choubey immediately rushed to the attack site however the convoy led by SP was ambushed on the way. The landmine attacks were followed by gun-battle between the police and the red guerillas. The IG convoy narrowly missed the attack, Rajnandgaon police informed.
Over a dozen personnel were injured in the attack and the four critically injured were air-lifted by the state chopper to Raipur for immediate medical treatment, it was told.
This is for the first time the SP rank official was killed in the Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh. The Madanwada police chowki was inaugurated this year.
“The rebels laid a trap in which unfortunately the Rajnandgaon SP along with 24 cops were killed in the ambush”, DIG (Intelligence) Pawan Dev told Hindustan Times. The fierce encounter continued for more than three hours.
The state police believed that there could be more than 200 guerillas who were involved in the attack.
The two district force cops who ventured out to the forest to answer the call of nature and killed early in the day exposed how ill-equipped remain the police chowki in the naxal-infested areas when the cops do not have basic ameninites like toilet facility in police station building. It is a known fact that in the name of modernisation of police force and updgradation of infrastructure the state police spent substantial funds every year.
This is the biggest ever casualty inflicted by the Maoist. Additional forces have been rushed to the area and intensive search operation by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and special task force of Chhattisgarh are carrying out.
Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh cancelled his visit to RSS headquarters in Nagpur and instructed the state Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar and Director General of Police Vishwaranjan to rush to the spot to supervise and carry out effective actions after the violent incident.
Maoists have killed 98 securitymen in the state this year.
With Sunday’s attack, the number of security personnel killed by Maoists across the country in 2009 rose to 218.