RAIPUR: Maoists on Tuesday shot dead 26 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and wounded eight others in an ambush in a remote area of Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district in the latest of a series of deadly attacks by the ultra-Left activists.
A large number of heavily-armed Maoists, perched on a hilltop, opened fire from automatic weapons on a 63-member security contingent which was returning on foot from road opening duty, Union Home Secretary, Mr G K Pillai said in New Delhi.
The attack, which also left eight personnel including four special police officers of Chhattisgarh police injured, took place at Daurai Road area, about 300 km from here, at around 3 p.m.
Additional Director General of Chhattisgarh police, Mr Ramniwas said the security personnel who also included state policemen retaliated but it was not clear if any Maoist was either killed or wounded. He said the dead CRPF included an Assistant Commandant of the force Jatin Gulati.
Tuesday’s attack came nearly three months after the worst massacre by the Maoists which left 75 personnel of the force and one Chhattisgarh policeman dead in Dantewada district on April 6 this year.
Mr Pillai said security and medical reinforcements have been sent to the spot and all the bodies have been recovered. The injured were taken to a hospital by an army helicopter, he said. The condition of five of the eight injured was stated to be serious, CRPF officials in New Delhi said.
The CRPF troops were from the 39th battalion of the force and were a part of its ‘E’ and ‘F’ companies, CRPF director general Mr Vikram Srivastava said.
On May 8, eight men of the paramilitary force were killed when Naxals had blown up a vehicle also in Narayanpur district. Mr Srivastava is flying on Wednesday morning to the spot where the attack took place on Tuesday afternoon.