Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Rahul Gandhi terms Sukma IED blast as ' tragic'

Rahul Gandhi terms Sukma IED blast as ' tragic'

In a post on social media, Rahul said, 'the Maoist attack in Sukma, Chhattisgarh in which 9 CRPF jawans lost their lives is tragic.

Personnel were conducting an "area-domination operation" in the forest in the Kistaram area, when their mine-protected vehicle (MPV) was reportedly blown up.

Reports pouring in from Chhattisgarh said a gunfight broke out in the area during morning between specially trained COBRA force and Naxals and the vehicle that was targeted was a reinforcement rushing to the area.

Officials said the incident occurred around 12:30 pm along the district's Kistaram-Palodi road when troops of the CRPF's 212th battalion were out on an operation. Four Naxals were also killed in the encounter that lasted for almost eight hours.

According to the police, bodies of all the slain CRPF personnel will be airlifted tonight.

Anti-Naxal operations special DG DM Awasthi told reporters that there is no firing in the area at present. "I pray for speedy recovery of the injured jawans".

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25 CRPF soldiers were killed and seven others were critically injured in the attack by Maoists in Sukma, which was one of the deadliest in recent years. "Only inputs by security forces deployed on the ground reflect the ground situation", Mr Awasthi said.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, "deeply anguished" over the blast attack, also expressed condolences to the families. "It will not lower the morale of security forces".

Those killed have been identified as assistant sub inspector Ram Krishna Singh Tomar, head constable Laxman and constables Ajay Kumar Yadav, Manoranjan Lenka, Jitendra Singh, Sobit Kumar Sharma, Manoj Kumar Singh, Dharmendra Yadav and Chandra H S. The injured are Madan Kumar and Rajesh Kumar.

Following the attack, officials said huge contingents of paramilitary and police were rushed to the spot to take on Naxals.

The incident has happened around a year after a dozen jawans were killed in a similar ambush in the district.

"Every time there is a Naxal attack, the Chief Minister (of Chhattisgarh) promises some tough action, but nothing concrete has been done to stop these attacks".

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