17 security personnel which included members of the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and the Special Task Force (STF) were martyred in an encounter with Maoists in the Minpa forests of Sukma in Chhattisgarh. Their bodies were discovered by a search team on Sunday. Earlier on Saturday, nearly 600 personnel belonging to DRG- a specially created force of local youth aware of jungle warfare, STF and the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) launched an anti-Maoist operation towards Elmagunda from three sides. However, a group of 250 heavily armed Maoists ambushed a patrolling team in the Chintagufa area at around 2.30 pm.
15 other security personnel were injured in the gun battle which lasted for two and a half hours. They were airlifted to Raipur for further treatment. As per sources, nearly 16 automatic weapons including AK47 and an Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) were stolen by the Maoists. Later, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel visited the hospital where the injured jawans were admitted and chaired a high-level meeting to take stock of the situation.
Chhattisgarh: Visuals from the site where an encounter broke out between security forces and naxals in Sukma, yesterday; 17 security personnel have lost their lives in the encounter. pic.twitter.com/Mk79XcwHlr— ANI (@ANI) March 22, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the Maoist attack in Sukma. Paying his tributes to the martyred security personnel, he stressed that their valour would never be forgotten. The PM also expressed hope for the speedy recovery of the injured personnel. Reacting to this development, Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed his condolences to the families of the martyrs. He also vowed that India would win the battle against the Maoist terror.
Strongly condemn the Maoist attack in Sukma, Chhattisgarh. My tributes to the security personnel martyred in the attack. Their valour will never be forgotten. Condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for a quick recovery of those injured.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 22, 2020
छत्तीसगढ़ के सुकमा में सुरक्षाकर्मियों के शहादत की घटना बहुत ही दुःखद है और हृदय को व्यथित करने वाली है। सभी वीर बलिदानियों को नमन करता हूँ और उनके परिजनों के प्रति संवेदना व्यक्त करता हूँ। दुःख की इस घड़ी में पूरा भारत आपके साथ है। नक्सलवाद के विरुद्ध भारत की लड़ाई जारी रहेगी।— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) March 22, 2020