26 CRPF personnel killed in Maoist encounter in Chhattisgarh, Modi condemns attack


Raipur: Suspected Maoist militants killed 26 paramilitary personnel and injured six on Monday in a gunfight in Chhattisgarh’s south Sukma region in a possible attempt to thwart a crucial road link the government believes would break the back of the insurgent group.

Police said that the encounter took place at around 12.45 pm between the Burkapal-Chintagufa area in the middle of Maoist violence-hit south Bastar area.

Ninety Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were part of a road-opening party (ROP) providing security to construction workers building the stretch.

“A rescue team was rushed to the spot and combing is going on. Five Maoists were also killed in the counter attack by the CRPF,” said deputy inspector general of Dantewada, P Sunderraj. Senior police officers said that that party was having lunch when the suspected Maoists attacked them.

The jawans were from the 74th battalion of the CRPF, including an Inspector-rank officer, who was injured in the gun battle.

“First Naxals sent villagers to trace our location, then almost 300 Naxals attacked us. We also fired and killed many,” news agency ANI quoted CRPF constable Sher Mohammed as saying.