World Media

25 paramilitary troops killed in Maoist ambush in eastern India

25 paramilitary troops killed in Maoist ambush in eastern India

A large group of Maoists who ambushed a team of the Central Reserve Police Force or CRPF in Chhattisgarh's Sukma area on Monday, killing 25 soldiers in the deadliest attack in seven years, used rocket launchers, grenades and crude bombs. Speaking to media in New Delhi, Mr Singh termed the attack on the personnel as a sad and an unfortunate incident, and vowed that no one will be spared.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior leaders across political parties have condemned the attack on the CRPF jawans and expressed their condolences to the families of the deceased.

Also, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced an ex-gratia of Rs. five lakh as compensation for the kin of Punjab CRPF jawans who lost their lives in the Sukma attack.

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The 25 soldiers died in a fierce gunfight with some 300 armed Naxalite rebels who had laid the ambush on them near Kala Pathar, close to Burkapal-Chintagufa area in the state's Sukma district.

The attack took place when a 100-strong CRPF patrol was providing security for road construction work in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district. The sacrifices of courageous troopers will not go in vain and that the incident has been accepted as a challenge, he said. They do not want development in the area. "The villagers weren't carrying arms, (so) how could we fire at them", the unnamed CRPF man asked. "We retaliated. We also killed many Naxals", he added.

The security operations are carried out by paramilitary forces with support from state police.

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The CRPF doesn't have a fulltime DG after K. Durga Prasad retired on February 28.1984 batch IPS officer Sudeep Lakhtakia is the acting chief. "They say that any action that does not further the people's war is futile". The almost 100-strong CRPF patrol providing security for road construction work in Sukma came under fierce gunfire from Maoist guerrillas occupying vantage positions.

He also accused the Maoists of using tribals as cannon fodder.

The official - unwilling to be named - said that Singh and Lakhtakia, who is now the acting head of the Central Reserve Police Force, reached Raipur early on Tuesday morning.

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Officials said as the troops of the 74th battalion of the CRPF, that came under attack, and few other similar contingents have been going out on the same track for some time and hence there was a possibility that their "presence was being tracked, marked and trailed" by Maoist cadres.


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