In Bijapur, Chhattisgarh, Naxalites surrounded and attacked over 700 soldiers on Saturday. Bijapur SP said on Sunday that 22 soldiers have been martyred in an encounter with Naxalites and many soldiers are still missing. Naxalites also looted weapons of over two dozen security personnel. A search operation of the security force is going on since this morning to search for the missing soldiers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel have expressed grief over the incident. Home Minister Shah spoke to Baghel on the phone and inquired about the incident. CM Baghel has gone to campaign in Assam, he will reach Chhattisgarh by evening.
Security personnel in Jonaguda hills. Source: IndiaTV
The security forces were reported to have camped on the hills of Jonaguda. OP Pal, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Chhattisgarh's anti-Naxal operation, said that on Friday night, two thousand jawans of Central Reserve Police Force's Cobra Battalion, DRG, and STF were dispatched from Bijapur and Sukma district as part of the anti-Naxal operation. But on Saturday, Naxalites surrounded 700 soldiers in the Tarrem area near Jonaguda hills and fired from three sides. In a three-hour encounter, 15 Naxalites were killed. 22 soldiers were killed in the attack. Over 31 injured soldiers are undergoing treatment in the hospital.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to state Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday after the security forces killed five jawans in an encounter with Naxalites in Chhattisgarh and took stock of the situation. A Home Ministry official said that the Home Minister spoke to Baghel and took stock of the situation arising after the encounter. It is believed that the Chief Minister informed the Home Minister about the steps taken by the state government after the encounter.
Shah asked the Director-General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Kuldeep Singh to go to Chhattisgarh to take stock of the situation. The CRPF Director General arrived in Chhattisgarh following the instructions of the Home Minister. During this time, they will take stock of the situation. Home Minister Amit Shah has also been in touch with the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, along with sending DG to Bijapur.
The border area of Jonaguda Naxalites is the outskirts of the Bijapur-Sukma district. A battalion of Naxalites and several platoons are always stationed here. The command of this entire area is in the hands of the woman Naxalite Sujatha. It is believed that the officers had foreseen that there might be a big attack by the Naxalites on the soldiers. This was the reason that over two thousand soldiers were fielded in the entire area. Despite being surrounded by the firing by the Naxalites, the soldiers have not lost their courage and have broken more than three Naxalites, breaking the cordon of the Naxalites. They also took the bodies of wounded soldiers and martyrs out of the circle. Two of the martyred soldiers are from the Bastaria battalion and DRG and one cobra.
CRPF's ADDP operations Zulfikar Hansmukh, senior security advisor of the center, and Vijay Kumar of the former CRPF DGP and the current IG operations have been present in the areas of Jagdalpur, Raipur, and Bijapur for the last 20 days. Despite this, the martyrdom of such many soldiers is questioning the whole operational planning.
President Kovind expressed anguish regarding Chhattisgarh's Bijapur Naxal attack, saying the nation will never forget their sacrifice of brave soldiers.
PM Modi also tweeted expressing his condolences to the families of the martyrs.
This is the second Naxalite attack in Chhattisgarh within 10 days. Earlier on March 23, they also killed five soldiers in the attack. The Naxalites carried the attack out through the IED blast in Narayanpur. The personnel of CRPF, DRG, District Police Force, and Cobra Battalion had gone out on joint search from Tarrem police station. Meanwhile, Naxalites ambushed in the Silger forest in the afternoon. On this, the soldiers also did retaliation.