At least 22 security personal have lost their lives in India’s Chhattisgarh in a Far left-wing extremists (Naxal) attack on Saturday.
“22 security personnel have lost their lives in the Naxal attack at Sukma-Bijapur in Chhattisgarh,” said Bijapur Superintendent of Police, Kamalochan Kashyap.
Around 31 officers sustained injuries in the attack in Bijapur on Saturday, Chhattisgarh Police said.
Far left-wing extremists (Naxals) looted more than two dozen weapons from security personnel following the attack, according to Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) sources.
As per local media reports, an encounter broke out between security forces and left-wing extremists (Naxals) along the Sukma-Bijapur border in the state of Chhattisgarh on Saturday after a group of police personals was ambushed by Maoists lest wing extremists near Jonnaguda village around noon.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has said that operations against left-wing extremists/Naxals would continue and the work of establishing camps in Naxal-affected areas would be completed in an expedited manner.
“They are fighting the left-wing extremists/Naxalites in their den. This left-wing extremist-police encounter has caused huge damage to the left-wing extremists in Bijapur. We have received information that the left-wing extremists had carried their dead and injured fellowmen in four tractors from the encounter site.” Baghel said.
He said that the influence of left-wing extremists in Chhattisgarh was shrinking rapidly, and they are panicking and trying to make their presence felt through such violent incidents.
Director-General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Kuldiep Singh, who is in Chhattisgarh to monitor the situation following the left-wing extremists attack, on Sunday said that there was absolutely no intelligence or operational failure in the operation.
Singh informed that around 25-30 left-wing extremists were also killed though the exact number is yet to be ascertained.
“There is no point in saying that there was some kind of intelligence or operational failure. Had it been some intelligence failure, forces would have not gone for the operation. And if there was some operational failure, so many left-wing extremists would have not been killed,” DG CRPF told media.
Indian Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday held a top-level meeting with senior officers on the Bijapur left-wing extremist attack at his residence here.
Indian Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, Director IB Arvind Kumar, and senior CRPF officers are present in the meeting.
Mr. Shah said sacrifices of security personnel killed in Bijapur’s left-wing extremist attack would not go in vain. He informed that a search operation is underway for the missing police officers.
“Both sides have suffered losses. Our jawans have lost their lives. I pay tributes to them. I want to assure their families that their sacrifice will not go in vain,” the Home Minister said.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that this sacrifice by police personels will never be forgotten.
He also wished for a speedy recovery for personnel injured in the encounter. “My thoughts are with the families of those martyred while fighting Maoists in Chhattisgarh. The sacrifices of the brave martyrs will never be forgotten. May the injured recover at the earliest,” PM Modi tweeted.
Political leaders from across the spectrum condoled the attack and death of the security personnel.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik strongly condemned the attack by left-wing extremists.
Indian National Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday paid homage to security personnel killed in Naxal attack at Sukma-Bijapur in Chhattisgarh and said that the Nation owes an enormous debt of gratitude to them.
In a statement, Gandhi wished complete recovery of injured personnel and said “we are united in our resolve to combat Naxalism”.
“The entire country bows before the martyrdom of 22 jawans in the gruesome Naxal attack in Bijapur, Chhattisgarh. I pay homage to these jawans who have given their lives and heartfelt condolences to their families. The Nation owes an enormous debt of gratitude to them,” she said.
French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain on Sunday expressed grief for the loss of lives of the security personnel in the Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh.