Two jawans of Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) — a special unit of CRPF, were killed and five others seriously injured in a fierce gunfight with the Maoists near Irapalli in the interior areas of strife-torn Bijapur district, about 400 km south of Raipur, on Monday.
The deceased have been identified as constable Vikas from Banda in Uttar Pradesh and constable Purnanand Sahu from Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh. Deputy commandant of the CRPF is among the injured.
In an exchange of fire, the troopers shot dead a Maoist and recovered a weapon from the spot.
“Based on an intelligence input, a team of CoBRA unit from 204th battalion was out on an anti-Maoist operation. Close to Pamed in south Bijapur, the Maoists opened fire resulting in an encounter. The attack was swiftly retaliated but unfortunately, we lost our two jawans. A body of Maoist was recovered from the gunbattle site”, said the CRPF spokesperson B C Patra. The forces believed the casualties of the Maoists could be more.
Efforts were on to airlift the injured five personnel to Raipur for immediate medical attention. “Owing to bad weather conditions, there was some delay in airlifting the jawans by chopper”, a local police officer said.
There was no information available from the Chhattisgarh police on whether the additional forces were rushed to the area to carry out an intensive search operation after the gunbattle.
Bijapur is among the seven districts of conflict zone of Bastar in south Chhattisgarh affected by the Maoists violence.