Chhattisgarh Maoist attack: How a Sikh jawan, hit with bullets, took off his turban to bandage colleague’s wounds
A Sikh security personnel took off his turban to tie it around the wounds of a fellow jawan, as both were caught in one of the deadliest attacks by Maoists on security forces in recent months in Chhattisgarh, a senior police officer said on Monday.
RK Vij, a 1988 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer in Chhattisgarh, spoke about Balraj Singh, the Sikh jawan who removed his turban, an article of his faith and something not to be removed, to help his colleague Abhishek Pandey, who also sustained injuries in the firing. Vij took to Twitter to salute Singh, a trooper of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)'s elite Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) wing.
Singh said that he had removed his turban tie it around the wound of his colleague, who had sustained injuries on his leg and was bleeding. Later, Singh, too, sustained bullet injuries. Both the personnel are now recuperating at a hospital in Raipur.
The gunbattle with Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Bastar region, along the border of the Sukma and Bijapur districts on Saturday, left 22 security personnel dead and 31 more injured. The party of jawans was ambushed by Maoists near the Jonnaguda village around 12pm. Out of the total 22 fatalities, the CRPF lost eight men, including seven commandos of the CoBRA battalion and one jawan of the Bastariya battalion, eight of the other deceased were from the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and six from the Special Task Force (STF). Not much is known about the extent to which the other side suffered losses, although home ministry and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officials aware of the developments said that the number of Maoists killed in the encounter could be between 12 and 20. Intelligence inputs suggested that the extremists used grenade launchers, and the possibility of this being a planned attack is not being dismissed yet.
Following the incident, political leaders across party lines expressed their condolences for the soldiers who died in the line of duty. Union home minister Amit Shah on Sunday vowed a befitting response to Maoists and said the battle against the extremists will be won through joint efforts of the central and state governments.