Raipur: Four police personnel were killed and nine others injured in a fierce gun-battle with Naxals, who ambushed their team in a dense forest in Chhattisgarh's Narayanpur district on Wednesday, a top official said.
The skirmish took place in the forest of Irpanar village in Abhujmad area, considered a Naxal hotbed, when a police team was out on an anti-Naxal operation, Special Director General of Police (anti-Naxal operations) D M Awasthi told PTI.
"Sub inspectors Vinod Kaushik and Moolchand Singh Kanwar and constables Devnath Pujari and Raisingh Markam belonging to the DRG (District Reserve Guard of police) were killed and seven other personnel sustained injuries in the encounter," he said.
Of the injured, seven are DRG personnel and other two belong to the Special Task Force of the state police. The team of DRG and Special Task Force, comprising around 400 personnel, was carrying out the operation for the past two days in the interior pockets of Abhujmad, around 350 km away from Raipur, he said.
Around 11 am, when the team was combing Irpanar forest, it came under heavy firing from a group of armed ultras which led to an exchange of fire. The fierce gun-battle lasted for about three hours, Awasthi said.
He said the ultras were from 'military company no 6' of the Maoists.
Soon after the information of ambush came in, reinforcement was rushed and injured personnel and bodies of the deceased policemen were evacuated, he added. The injured personnel were airlifted to Raipur and admitted at a private hospital, Awasthi said. The attack, coming two days ahead of Republic Day, prompted the police authorities to sound an alert in the insurgency-hit Bastar division.
Chief Minister Raman Singh condemned the Naxal attack. "The Centre and the state government are together trying their best to ensure facilities through various schemes in remote areas of Abhujmad. This cowardly act by Naxals clearly reflects that they are a hindrance to the development of the region," the chief minsiter said in a statement. Singh conveyed his condolences to the families of those killed, it said.