22 Jawans killed by 400 Maoists in a gun battle in Bijapur

22 Jawans killed after 400 Maoists surround them in Bijapur, Chhattisgarh. Source- NDTV.

A violent fury broke about between CRPF jawans and a group of 400 Maoists on Saturday, April 3. This attack is the most fatal one in the last four years, killing 22 security personnel. The incident took place in the Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh. A gun battle broke out between a team of CRPF jawans in Tekulugudam. This area is around 12 km from the CRPF's Tarrem Camp.

The security forces planned a massive secret operation which went wrong. This operation included teams from the CRPF and its elite COBRA unit. Along with them, teams of STF, DRG, and District Force of Chhattisgarh Police were also a part of the operation. 1000 security personnel from Bijapur alone were a part of this secret operation.

They set eight teams up to overthrow the Maoist insurgency in the area. Six teams set in motion from the Tarrem Camp. One team set in motion from Usur and another from Pamed. Three teams traveled to Alipuda and Jonaguda, as per plan. The operational plan was to return at 6 pm on 3rd April after being launched from Tarrem at 10 pm on 2nd April. These teams were knee-deep in the Maoists ' trap.

The intelligence units provided information about Hidma, the leader of Battalion 1 (Maoist). This information triggered the launch of the operation. One of the injured jawans said, 'several things went wrong.' When they reached the target area, the villages-Tekulugudam and Jhiragaon were empty.

On returning from the area, the Maoists surrounded them from all sides, and a gun battle began. As per the injured jawans, the Maoists used sophisticated weaponry to attack them. They used bullets, UGBLs, and hand grenades.

They killed 22 security personnel wherein 32 of them were left injured at the Jagargunda area of Chhattisgarh on 3rd April. One CRPF inspector is still missing. The rescue team recovered 5 bodies on Saturday. The remaining bodies were recovered on Sunday.

Questions arose about how they got left behind in the gunfight. To this, a senior officer said, " Clearly, we were under so much fire that jawans ran. They came to the camps, and some got left behind and died fighting. There is no hiding from this reality. By night, we had five dead, and 21 had been left there. The Maoists had so much time that they could strip our men of all our weapons and equipment. The bodies lay there for hours. What is even more concerning is that this was not deep in the forests at all."

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