Chhattisgarh: 22 jawans killed, 31 injured in anti-Naxals operation in Sukma

At least 22 jawans got martyred and 31 got injured after deadly encounter with Naxals along the border between Bijapur and Sukma districts in Chhattisgarh on Saturday (April 3).

According to security forces, 15 Naxals were killed and 20 got injured in the operation which was launched jointly by Chhattisgarh Police, STF and Cobra teams.

“Separate joint teams of security forces, over 2,000 in number, had launched a major anti-Naxal operation from Bijapur and Sukma districts in the South Bastar forests, considered as the Maoist stronghold, on Friday night,” state’s Deputy Inspector General (anti-Naxal operations) OP Pal said.

Pal added that personnel belonging to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), its elite unit CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and the Special Task Force (STF) jointly launched the operation against Naxals from five places – Tarrem, Usoor and Pamed (Bijapur) and Minpa and Narsapuram (Sukma).

“Around noon on Saturday, an encounter broke out between the patrolling team that was dispatched from Tarrem and ultras belonging PLGA (Peoples’ Liberation Guerilla Army) battalion of Maoists near Jonaguda village under Jagargunda police station area (in Sukma),” Pal said.

It is learnt that the Naxal commander Hidma is suspected to be involved in the gruesome attack. Sources said that security forces were on high alert after top Naxal commander Hidma movement seen in Bijapur last month.

As per report a group of 100-120 Maoist cadres of PLGA Battalion number-1 led by Hidma was recently spotted camping at the border areas of Bijapur.

Another group of 60-80 armed Maoist cadre led by Chandranna found also roaming in another area of Bijapur. Hidma is top naxal commander and carries a reward of Rs 25 lakh on his head.

Hidma had led many major operations against the security forces in Bastar. He is also suspected to be behind the March,2017 attack in Sukma district of Chattisgarh in which 25 CRPF personnel were martyred.

(With inputs from Manish Shukla)

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