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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Chhattisgarh: Three CRPF Personnel Lose Lives in Armed Encounter with Maoists on Sukma-Bijapur Border

IndiaChhattisgarh: Three CRPF Personnel Lose Lives in Armed Encounter with Maoists on Sukma-Bijapur Border

In a tragic incident on Tuesday, three CRPF jawans lost their lives in a gunfight with Maoists along the Sukma-Bijapur border in Chhattisgarh. The skirmish occurred as commandos were engaged in establishing a forward operating base (FOB). At least 15 CRPF personnel sustained injuries during the intense gun battle that commenced around 1 pm, taking place in the same area where 23 jawans were killed in an exchange of fire with Maoists in April 2021.

Inspector-General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P. provided details, stating, “The incident occurred near Tekalgudem village when a joint team of security personnel was out on a search operation.” The village is situated along the border of Bijapur and Sukma districts. The team involved in the operation consisted of the 201st battalion of the CoBRA force and the 150th battalion of the CRPF.

A Forward Operating Base (FOB) is a remote camp designed to facilitate security forces operating in core Maoist areas. Sources revealed that CRPF commandos effectively retaliated during the encounter, and efforts were underway to requisition helicopters for the evacuation of the injured personnel.

Earlier in the day, security forces prevented a major tragedy by discovering two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) based on a tip-off. The police reported that the 5kg and 3kg bombs had been planted on dirt tracks in Dantewada district.

According to Union home ministry sources, a recent intelligence report indicated a regrouping of Maoists in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra, presenting a renewed challenge for security agencies. Seven districts in Chhattisgarh, including Bastar, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker, Sukma, Dantewada, and Kondagaon, remain severely affected by Left-wing extremism.

In a recent security review, Union Home Minister Amit Shah set a three-year deadline to eradicate the Maoist menace in Chhattisgarh. The government had previously claimed that demonetization had disrupted Maoists’ funding and weakened their influence.

The Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) of the CRPF, a specialized jungle warfare unit, played a pivotal role in countering Maoists. Established in 2008 with a strength of 10,000 personnel, CoBRA teams are currently deployed in Maoist-affected regions across the country, with headquarters in the national capital region and battalion headquarters in various Maoist-hit states, including Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra.

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