Introduction

In a tragic encounter along the Sukma-Bijapur border in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region, three Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel lost their lives, while 15 others sustained injuries. The incident unfolded during an encounter with Maoists near the newly established security camp in Teklagudem village.

The Encounter

The deadly clash occurred on the inaugural day of the Teklagudem security camp, located approximately 450 km from Raipur. The Maoists, numbering over 500, according to Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai, attacked the joint team patrolling nearby villages. Conflicting reports suggested the Maoist group could have been as large as 1,000 members.

Casualties and Injuries

Two commandos from the elite CoBRA unit and one CRPF jawan were martyred in the encounter. The deceased were identified as constables Devan C. and Pavan Kumar from CoBRA, and constable Lambdhar Sinha from CRPF. Additionally, 15 security personnel, including a Deputy Commandant, an Assistant Commandant, four head constables, and nine constables, sustained injuries. The injured were promptly taken to medical facilities in Jagdalpur and Raipur, with authorities confirming they were out of danger.

Retaliatory Action

Following the Maoist attack, security forces engaged in a retaliatory firefight, resulting in the reported death of six Maoist cadres. The insurgents retreated into the forests amidst the retaliatory fire, prompting ongoing search operations.

Past Incidents and Security Measures

Bastar has been a hotspot for left-wing extremism, with a history of deadly encounters. In April 2021, the same area witnessed an encounter that claimed the lives of 23 security personnel. In 2023, significant casualties were reported on both sides. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, during a recent visit, set a three-year deadline to eliminate Naxalism in the country.

Since August 2023, nine new security camps have been established in the conflict-ridden Bastar region, aiming to enhance security measures. The police assert that the new camp targeted in this attack was set up for the people’s security and affirms their determination to continue operations despite the setback.

Government Response

Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai expressed solidarity with the security personnel, highlighting increased deployment and effectiveness of forces in areas perceived as sympathetic to Maoists. He attributed the Maoists’ resorting to “cowardly acts of terror” as a response to the disarray among their ranks due to heightened security measures.

Conclusion

The tragic incident underscores the persistent challenges in regions plagued by left-wing extremism and the ongoing efforts to establish security. The sacrifice of the CRPF personnel serves as a grim reminder of the complexities involved in maintaining peace in conflict-prone areas.
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Naina Gupta, a seasoned editor at Atom News, brings a wealth of experience in journalism and a keen eye for compelling stories. With a background in investigative reporting, Naina is dedicated to delivering news that resonates with our diverse readership.