On Saturday, Naxalites surrounded 700 soldiers and ambushed them in Bijapur, Bastar of Chhattisgarh. 22 soldiers were killed in this attack. These include 9 from Cobra Battalion, 8 from DRG, 6 from STF and one from Bastar Battalion. Later, the Rescue Team arrived, which was also attacked by Naxalites. The help of central agencies and the Air Force have been sought to recover them.
Intelligence reported the presence of Naxalites
Around 700 soldiers were surrounded by Maoists near Jonaguda hills in the Tarrem area of Bijapur. 9 Maoists have also been killed in a three-hour encounter. About 30 jawans have been injured. Many jawans have been missing since the encounter. The area where the encounter took place is the area of the First Battalion of Naxalites. The presence of a large number of Naxalites was reported from UAV photographs 20 days ago.
Ambushed from 3 sides
The security forces were reported to have camped on the hills of Jonaguda. On Friday night, two thousand personnel of CRPF’s Cobra Commandos, CRPF Bastaria Battalion and Special Task Force started the operation, but on Saturday, Naxalites surrounded 700 soldiers and attacked them.
The Naxalites trapped the soldiers in a large ambush and started firing from three sides. The encounter started at around 12.30 pm and lasted for about 5 hours at around 5.30 pm. Naxalites used UBGL, Rocket Launcher, Insas and AK-47 for attacking the soldiers.
Planning of operations is now under questions
Top brass from the centre and the state was present there. Despite this, the martyrdom of such a large number of soldiers is questioning the whole operational planning.
Meanwhile, CRPF Director General Kuldeep Singh has reached Chhattisgarh. After the operation in Bijapur, the Ministry of Home Affairs instructed him to visit the site. Home Minister Amit Shah is in touch with the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh besides sending the DG to Bijapur.
PM Modi expressed grief
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed grief over the martyrdom of the soldiers. He said that the sacrifices of the brave soldiers will never be forgotten. My condolences are with the families of the martyred soldiers in Chhattisgarh. He wished the injured to get well soon.
We salute the valour and steadfast devotion to duty of the Bravehearts who made the supreme sacrifice for the nation while valiantly fighting the Maoists in an operation in Bijapur, Chhattisgarh yesterday. We stand with the families of our Bravehearts. pic.twitter.com/nOY66CLNP2— 🇮🇳CRPF🇮🇳 (@crpfindia) April 4, 2021
Second attack within 10 days
This is the second Naxalite attack in Chhattisgarh within 10 days. Earlier on March 23, 5 soldiers were also killed in the attack. The attack was carried out by the Naxalites through the IED blast in Narayanpur. CRPF, DRG, District Police Force and Cobra Battalion personnel jointly went out searching from Tarrem police station. Meanwhile, Naxalites ambushed in the Silger forest in the afternoon. On this, retaliation was also done by the soldiers.
22 security personnel have lost their lives in the Naxal attack at Sukma-Bijapur in Chhattisgarh, says SP Bijapur, Kamalochan Kashyap— ANI (@ANI) April 4, 2021
Visuals from the Sukma-Bijapur Naxal attack site pic.twitter.com/C3VvAdvjaN
Frequent attacks are happening after peace proposal
The Naxalites had proposed peace talks to the government on 17 March. The Naxalites had issued a release saying that they are ready to negotiate with the Chhattisgarh government for the betterment of the public. They also laid down three conditions for negotiation. These included the removal of the armed forces, the removal of ban from Maoist organizations and the unconditional release of their jailed leaders.