Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday visited the Rama Krishna Hospital in Raipur to meet the security personnel who were injured in an encounter, in Sukma district a day before.
"Total 17 security personnel (5 Special Task Force, 12 District Reserve Guards) have lost their lives in an encounter in Sukma, yesterday. They were missing and security forces were trying to locate them after an encounter with Naxals," said Chhattisgarh Police.
The 15 paramilitary jawans who were injured, three of them critically, during the encounter were airlifted and brought to a hospital in Raipur. SP State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) Ravi Shankar said, "As per information, near district Sukma there was a location of terrorist battalion. The encounter started on Saturday around 1 pm at different locations in the region."
Medical Director of Ram Krishna hospital, Sandeep Dave said, "Total 15 jawans have been brought here. They were brought in two lots. In the first lot, there were seven jawans, while in the second there were eight. Three jawans are in critical condition, we are trying to save them."
Bodies of 17 security personnel, who were missing after the encounter were found on Sunday, police said. "Bodies of 17 security personnel were recovered by a search team and were being evacuated from forests," Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P told PTI.
Nearly 600 personnel of the police's District Reserve Guard (DRG), Special Task Force and CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) had launched the operation from three sides - Chintagufa, Burkapal and Timelwada - based on information about the presence of ultras near Elmagunda on Saturday, a senior official said.
When one of the patrolling teams was advancing through Korajguda hills near Elmagunda, located around 450 km from the state capital Raipur, it was ambushed by a team of some 250 armed ultras that led to the gun-battle, he said.
(With agency inputs)