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Over a Dozen Naxals Hit as CRPF’s CoBRA Unit Foils Bid to Seize Chhattisgarh Poll Booth After 3-Hour Gun Battle

Five troops of the CRPF's CoBRA unit, which specialises in jungle warfare, suffered bullet injuries in the encounter that took place about 6 km from the polling booth in Pamed village of Bijapur district.

PTI

Updated:November 12, 2018, 10:52 PM IST
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Over a Dozen Naxals Hit as CRPF’s CoBRA Unit Foils Bid to Seize Chhattisgarh Poll Booth After 3-Hour Gun Battle
Security personnel during a search operation in Maoist-affected area. (File photo)
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New Delhi: Security forces on Monday claimed to have foiled an audacious bid by Naxals to lay seige to a remote polling booth in Chhattisgarh's Bastar division, as they hit over a dozen ultras in a fierce three-hour long gun battle.

Five troops of the CRPF's CoBRA unit, which specialises in jungle warfare, suffered bullet injuries in the encounter that took place about 6 km from the polling booth in Pamed village of Bijapur district, a senior official said.

A group of 80-90 Maoists were present in the Mediguda forests near the polling booth and the encounter began around noon, he said.

"While five CoBRA men were injured in this encounter, around 12 to 15 Naxals were seen going down during the encounter. They could either be injured or killed. We will get to know the exact damage on the other side in some time," CRPF Inspector General (Operations) Sanjay Arora said.

Arora is based in the state capital Raipur and heads the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) formation in the state.a

The CRPF IG told PTI that the encounter saw a heavy exchange of fire between the two sides following which the Naxals were pushed back and were not able to disrupt the polling or harm any voter.

"The Naxals were heavily armed and they fired from light machine guns, under-barrel grenade launchers and mortars on the CoBRA team. We suspect that Maoist commander Sagar, who leads the 2nd company of the ultras in the region, is behind this," CRPF Deputy IG (Intelligence) M Dhinakaran said in Delhi.

Men of the 204th Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) team were out in the area since the wee hours Monday to provide protection to the first phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly polls, he said.

Voting in the 18 constituencies of eight Naxal-affected districts of Chhattisgarh, including Bijapur, was held on Monday.

Around 70 per cent voter turnout was registered in this phase of the Assembly polls. The remaining seats of the state will go to polls on November 20.
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